John Ciardi

In honor of the birthday of the poet John Ciardi who was born on this day in 1916. Here are a few of his most famous quotes:  

"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."    


“Every word has a history. Every word has an image locked into its roots.” 


“And the time sundials tell

May be minutes and hours.

But it may just as well

Be seconds and sparkles, or seasons and flowers.

No, I don't think of time as just minutes and hours.

Time can be heartbeats, or bird songs, or miles,

Or waves on a beach, or ants in their files

(They do move like seconds—just watch their feet go:

Tick-tick-tick, like a clock). You'll learn as you grow

That whatever there is in a garden, the sun

Counts up on its dial. By the time it is done

Our sundial—or someone's— will certainly add

All the good things there are. Yes, and all of the bad.

And if anyone's here for the finish, the sun

Will have told him—by sundial—how well we have done.

How well we have done, or how badly. Alas,

That is a long thought. Let me hope we all pass.” 

― The Monster Den  

As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
John Ciardi
John Ciardi