John Ciardi

John Ciardi Poems

1.
Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
...

2.
White Heron

What lifts the heron leaning on the air
I praise without a name. A crouch, a flare,
a long stroke through the cumulus of trees,
a shaped thought at the sky - then gone. O rare!
...

3.
Suburban

Yesterday Mrs. Friar phoned.'Mr. Ciardi,
how do you do?' she said. 'I am sorry to say
this isn't exactly a social call. The fact is
your dog has just deposited-forgive me-
a large repulsive object in my petunias.'
...

4.
About The Teeth Of Sharks

The thing about a shark is—teeth,
One row above, one row beneath.

Now take a close look. Do you find
...

5.
The Dolls

Night after night forever the dolls lay stiff
by the children's dreams. On the goose-feathers of the rich,
on the straw of the poor, on the gypsy ground—
wherever the children slept, dolls have been found
...

John Ciardi Comments

ELINOR H. 09 February 2019

THERE'S A POEM BY JOHN CIARDI (I THINK) ABOUT TURNING NINE - WHEN YOU'RE STILL IN THE SINGLE DIGITS - AND YOU'L NOW STAY IN THE DOUBLE DIGITS UNTIL YOU TURN 100. DOES ANYONE REMEMBER AND CAN DIRECT ME TO THIS POEM?

3 0 Reply
Rena P 30 September 2018

I was looking for a poem entitled, Rules. It is by John Ciardi Whatever way a thing is done it's wrong as I hope you know for that is the rule of one times one...

1 1 Reply
sally walsh 02 September 2018

looking for John Ciardi's Two Egrets

2 0 Reply
Katy grischy 09 August 2018

Cannot find John Ciardi's poem Cezanne anywhere! Can you help?

1 0 Reply
Em Smith 12 May 2014

I absolutely love love love Ciardi's poetry, but I was disappointed to find that my favourite of is poems, 'My Father's Watch', is not available on poemhunter. Any chance this could be rectified?

13 7 Reply

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John Ciardi Biography

John Anthony Ciardi (June 24, 1916 – March 30, 1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. While primarily known as a poet, he also translated Dante's Divine Comedy, wrote several volumes of children's poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf W ...

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