Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pair of Poems by John Ciardi + A Birthday

I've stumbled across another poet not known to me before: John Ciardi. Some of his poems remind me of Ogden Nash's, others have a tinge of Shel Silverstein. I was not surprised, either , when I noticed that some of his books of poems, especially his children's poems, were illustrated by Edward Gorey, about whom I wrote a post a few years ago see HERE.

Here are a couple of poems by John Ciardi as tasters:

Philosophical Poem

The disease of civilization is not tools, citizen.
Ignorance might be closer to it.
Politics closer. But only Money
Will hit the brass tacks everyone wants to get down to
Squarely on the head.

Above all, I have no case against human nature.
Whatever that is, I like it.
I like mechanics with wrenches,
Taxi drivers' photos on licenses,
Drunks lighting cigarettes.
What the hell else is there to like
After you've kissed your wife and gone to sleep?

I like everything but important people being important.
And academic people being academic.
What I like least is bookkeepers
Spending their human eyes on accounts receivable,
Interest receivable, payment due, balance on hand.
And columns of soldiers marching.

Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(If he'd been closer) have tried a bite.

I think that's as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at 'im.

The way to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You'll find the Lion's rather shy.

He really wants someone to pet him.
The trouble is: his teeth won't let him.

He has a heart of gold beneath
But the Lion just can't trust his teeth.

For any passing reader interested in astrology, Astrotheme has John Ciardi's 12 noon natal chart. He was born on 24 June 1916 in Boston MA.

I found it rather odd to see that he had Sun conjunct Pluto, and Venus conjunct Saturn - all in Cancer. That doesn't seem to fit the atmosphere of his poetry at all. Uranus was at 19 Aquarius in harmonious trine to Mercury in Gemini - there's his quirk!

PS Wishing A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY today, to my husband Anyjazz!

Speaking of Lions, as the poet was, husband happens to have Leo Moon and Leo rising to go with his Aries Sun - hot stuff!? I should keep in mind these lines from Mr Ciardi, I guess:
"The way to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite."


anyjazz said...

Thanks for the honorable mention. Purr for Purr, smooch for smooch.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ :-) It's a jungle out there, but not in here (usually!) ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Love the poem. Best wishes to Himself.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ He says thank you kindly! :-)

R J Adams said...

Yeh! Belated happy birthday wishes to AnyJazz. Must call more often but the lawn's been getting away from me.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ AJ says many thanks, RJ! :-)