Monday, December 13, 2004

Good Advice From John Ciardi

Poet John Ciardi (pronounced Chyar-dee) was born in 1916 and died in 1986. A brilliant line of his sticks with me, though I cannot recall where he said it, and Google didn't help: "Never send a poem on a prose errand." Tattoo that onto your forearms, you would-be poets. (I myself am no poet, I know it, so I can't possibly blow it.)

Here is the epitaph he composed for himself:

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.