“A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.” – John Ciardi
How Does a Poem Mean? wrote Ciardi in 1959 opening the door to the wonders of writing and reading poetry to generations of young people who continue to study his book in classrooms everywhere.
Born in June 1916, Ciardi was a poet, essayist, commentator and translator. Also a much sought after teacher, he directed the famed Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and taught at Harvard and Middlebury College. "The classroom," Ciardi said, "should be an entrance into the world, not an escape from it.” For Saturday’s Poem, here is Ciardi’s,
I did not have exactly a way of life
but the bee amazed me and the wind's plenty
was almost believable. Hearing a magpie laugh
through a ghost town in Wyoming, saying Hello
in Cambridge, eating cheese by the frothy Rhine,
leaning from plexiglass over Tokyo,
I was not able to make one life of all
the presences I haunted. Still the bee
amazed me, and I did not care to call
accounts from the wind. Once only, at Pompeii,
I fell into a sleep I understood,
and woke to find I had not lost my way.
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