John CiardiJohn Ciardi (1916-1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist.
Ciardi was born in in Boston's Little Italy. He attended Bates College, Tufts College and the University of Michigan. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he taught at the University of Kansas City, Harvard, and finally at Rutgers. In 1961, he left his tenured position for an independent career.
As an etymologist, he is known for a three-volume Browser's Dictionary and his broadcasts on National Public Radio, both as host of A Word in Your Ear and as a commentator for Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. Etymologies and commentary on words such daisy, demijohn, jimmies (the sprinkles on doughnuts and ice cream), gerrymander, glitch, snafu, cretin, and baseball, among others, are available from the archives of NPR's website.
Here, time concurring (and it does);
Lies Ciardi. If no kingdom come,
A kingdom was. Such as it was
This one beside it is a slum.
A partial bibliography:
- A Browser's Dictionary (reissued ISBN 1888173203)
- A Second Browser's Dictionary (reissued ISBN 1888173343)
- A Third Browser's Dictionary (reissued ISBN 1888173432)
- The Collected Poems of John Ciardi, (published posthumously, ISBN 1557284504)
- Good Words to You: An All-New Dictionary and Native's Guide to the Unknown American Language, (ISBN 0060156910)
- How Does a Poem Mean?, (ISBN 0395186056)
- His translation of The Inferno (ISBN 0451527984)
- Limericks (with Isaac Asimov, ISBN 0517208822)
- Man Who Sang the Sillies (reissued ISBN 0397305680)
- You Read to Me, I'll Read to You, (illustrated by Edward Gorey, ISBN 0064460606)