Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Met A Man-book of children's poems

John Ciardi
June 24, 1916-March 30, 1986
An American poet, translator and etymologist

"The success of the poem is determined 
not by how much the poet felt in writing it,
but how much the reader feels in reading it. "
John Ciardi

How Does A Poem Mean is Ciardi's most well-known work.  This book was published in 1959 and covers how to read, write and teach poetry. It is considered a standard text for college and high school poetry courses. Ciardi was a regular commentator on NPR, and an editor, poetry critic and columnist for Saturday Review for many years. While John Ciardi is primarily known as a poet his translation of Dante' s Divine Comedy was highly acclaimed. Ciardi's  poetry is much like that of Walt Whitman and Vachel Lindsay. He sought to make poetry more accessible to all by clarity and immediacy.
"The River is a Piece of Sky" is from his first book of poems for children, The Reason for the Pelican
The River is a Piece of Sky
John Ciardi

From the top of the bridge
The river below
is a piece of sky-
Until you throw
A penny in
Or a cockleshell
Or a pebble or two
Or a bicycle bell
Or a cobblestone
Or a fat man's cane-
And then you can see
It's a river again.

The difference you'll see
When you drop a penny;
The river has splashes,
The sky hasn't any.

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