John Anthony Ciardi ( CHAR-dee; Italian: [ˈtʃardi]; June 24, 1916 – March 30, 1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. While primarily known as a poet and translator of Dante's Divine Comedy, he also wrote several volumes of children's poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, directed the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Vermont, and recorded commentaries for National Public Radio. In 1959, Ciardi published a book on how to read, write, and teach poetry, How Does a Poem Mean?, which has proven to be among the most-used books of its kind. At the peak of his popularity in the early 1960s, Ciardi also had a network television program on CBS, Accent. Ciardi's impact on poetry is perhaps best measured through the younger poets whom he influenced as a teacher and as editor of the Saturday Review.
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