The poetic voice of John Ciardi

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dc.contributor.advisor Miller, William V. en_US Stanislaw, Rebecca W. en_US 2011-06-03T19:31:30Z 2011-06-03T19:31:30Z 1991 en_US 1991
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1991 .S736 en_US
dc.description.abstract The poetry of John Ciardi, a versatile and prolific man of letters, has not received adequate critical attention. Through an examination of his poetic canon, using traditional elements of poetry, this dissertation establishes his unique poetic voice. Attention is focused on his Selected Poems, but representative poems from his full canon are examined.Chapter One reviews critical writings relevant to establishing Ciardi's poetic voice, introduces texts to be examined, and sets forth criteria for analyzing his poetry.Chapter Two identifies Ciardi's poetics and places him as a poet in the realistic tradition. His poetics stress four elements essential to good poetry: rhythm, diction, imagery, and form (wholeness). Much of his analysis is orthodox; however, as subsequent chapters demonstrate, some analytical terms are used in a special sense by Ciardi.Chapter Three positions Ciardi as a personal poet, dependent on family experiences for his subjects and settings. Ciardi's poems tend to succeed when autobiography plays a large role. Chapter Six also considers the relationship of imagery to common themes.Chapters Four through Seven deal with techniques of poetry. Chapter Four on rhythm shows how Ciardi successfully creates a vernacular language by manipulating a basic iambic line by using metrical and non-metrical devices.Chapter Five analyzes how diction is affected by grammar, sound devices, and etymology. Effective diction is precise, appropriate, resonant, and authentic.Chapter Six categorizes frequently-used images into four groups: nature, family, war, and religion/art. This chapter demonstrates the close relationship between imagery and his persistent themes: depersonalization of twentieth-century people and salvation in interpersonal relationships and art. Ciardi's most successful poems use fresh images from "unimportant" experiences, from which humanistic values are derived.Chapter Seven addresses the wholeness of the poem, including the "sympathetic contract." The poems tend toward a formal ending, frequently following what Ciardi calls a "fulcrum." Ciardi's composite voice is rich with unexpected images, flowing in a rhythm reminiscent of iambic speech. Ciardi's vision is expressed in a unique poetic voice that deserves to be included in the canon of contemporary poetry.3 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of English
dc.format.extent iii, 162 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.other Ciardi, John, 1916-1986 -- Criticism and interpretation. en_US
dc.subject.other Ciardi, John, 1916-1986. Poems. en_US
dc.title The poetic voice of John Ciardi en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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