John Ciardi Collection
Manuscript Collection 372

SUBGROUP III: Manuscripts and Letters

Box 1

1) THE REASON FOR THE PELICAN – Manuscript
Dates from Nov. 1951, when Ciardi nearly published the book that did get published eight years later, in 1959. Eighteen poems in a brown folder; Signed on folder cover with his address on title page: 84 South Street, Medford, Massachusetts, which dates the ms to pre-1953

2) CIARDI LETTER TO ALFRED KREYMBORG (Nov. 28, 1949)
Typed Letter Signed. Ciardi is writing to Kreymborg about the poetry series he is editing for Twayne.

4) CIARDI LETTER TO ED CIFELLI (Dec. 24, 1973)
Dear Ed: Thanks for handsomeness. May you have 397 good days in 1974 with a 15% cost of living increase each of the next hundred years thereafter. John

5) “ON OCASSION OF HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY PARTY” (Feb. 21, 1972)
Handwritten limerick.
Undated but probably written for the 65thbirthday party of W. H. Auden given by Random House, and intended as well as a farewell because Auden had accepted an invitation to live at Christ
Church, Oxford. Not signed. On half of a steno pad sheet.
This in praise of a poet named Aud'n
His poems are not maudl'n but mod'n.
The first things he wrote
Struck a socialist note
But increasingly now he lets God'n.
Gift from Judith or Myra Ciardi.

6) CLOSE-OUT (n.d.)
By John Ciardi. After 7 days of no-caloric food and with only a skim-world left to rest on, there came utter lightlessness bursting, a change of vowels, and then nothing, infinitely, to say. John Ciardi

8) MIND YOU KNOW (Jan. 28, 1969)
Handwritten children's poem from YOU READ TO ME AND I READ TO YOU. Signed, inscribed, and dated. For Mr. Bean and all his happy scholars- John Ciardi.

9) CIARDI LETTER TO ED CIFELLI (June 13, 1973)
Dear Ed- A pleasure. I'd be honored to have you do the book and will write Sylvia Bowman. Best in all -John.
This followed my expressed interest in writing the Twayne volume on him.

10) CIARDI LETTER TO CIFELLI (June 28, 1973)
28 June 1973. Handwritten on WORLD stationery with paper clip stain upper left and a small smudge near top. Also his home address stamp. Subject: about the Frost interview Cifelli and Ciardi did and about the possibility of Cifelli's expressed interest in writing a book about Ciardi 13 years before he died.

11) CIARDI LETTER TO CIFELLI (Oct. 18, 1973).
With envelope. Dictated and typed on SR/W stationery and signed "John." Home address stamp upper right. Why he could not appear for CEA in April 1974 in Philadelphia.

12) CIARDI LETTER TO CIFELLI (July 12, 1974)
Handwritten note on SRIW stationery with home address stamp upper right. Subject: to say that Ciardi had written a letter on Cifelli's behalf for the International Exchange Council (for a year in Italy). Signed "Yours [,] John."

13) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (June 6, 1973) TLS

14) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (photocopy) (June 26, 1973) TLS

15) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (Oct. 10, 1973) TL

16) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (June 21, 1974) (photocopy of TLS)

17) CORRESPONDENCE AND PAGE PROOFS FOR “CIARDI ON THE FROST: AN INTERVIEW”1973-74

18) CIARDI LETTER AND PROOF TO INGA PRATT (1958-59)
Proof page for "At Cocktails" with a dedication line printed in the poem "For Fletcher and Inga" [Pratt] from ANTIOCH REVIEW, not dated but 1958-59. Signed and inscribed: For Inga, the mistress mercy with love John Ciardi. Also a typed letter to Inga accompanying the poem, undated. Signed John. On SR letterhead.

19) CIARDI LETTER AND POEM TO INGA PRATT (Sept. 23, 1958)
Typed poem, "The One Dull Thing You Did Was to Die, Fletcher," signed and inscribed: for Inga, with love John Ciardi. Plus a typed letter signed accompanying the poem. On SR letterhead.

20) “CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO THE AMERICAN DREAM” (Dec. 23, 1961)
Christmas Poem. To Inga Pratt and her second husband "Doc" Clark.

21) CIARDI LETTER TO INGA PRATT (Dec. 31, 1957)
Friendly end-of-year letter lamenting that they hadn't seen enough of each other and how busy he'd been.

22) AN ULCER, GENTLEMEN, IS AN UNWRITTEN POEM (pamphlet)

23) THE BURIAL OF THE LAST ELDER (LIVES OF X) (n.d.)
One typed page. Signed at bottom.

24) CIARDI LETTER TO MISS BARBARA TURNER (Feb. 10, 1961)
ALS. On SATURDAY REVIEW note paper with the name John Ciardi Poetry Editor at top left. Also the hand- addressed envelope.
Dear Miss Turner-;-
I think I'll have to pass on the cookbook idea. A good one-but not a natural for me. Sincerely[,]
John Ciardi

25) CIARDI LETTER TO LEWIS TURGO (Feb. 28, 1961) ALS

26) CIARDI LETTER TO MRS. EVANS (Aug. 26, 1982)
A note accompanying two signed bookplates (not with the letter).

27) CIARDI LETTER TO MR ANDREWS (April 11, 1975)
Autograph Note Signed.
Dear Mr. Andrews-
Yours with good wishes.
Sincerely
John Ciardi

28) CIARDI LETTER TO ED MAYO (March 5, 1953)
ALS to Ed [Mayo, the poet]. On Twayne Publishers stationery, imprinted with Ciardi's home address: 84 South Street, Medford 55, Mass. Letter tells Mayo that the administration at the University of Kansas City has changed, and that the UKC Review, which Ciardi was poetry editor of, was uncertain of continuing: "I now assume 1have no further connection with it, even nominal." Letter refers also to "Cid" [Corman]. Contains an interesting
P.S.: "Sold my Inferno to Mentor Pocket Books. Out early next year."

29) CIARDI LETTER TO MRS BEHRINGER (Sept. 11, 1974)
ALS. On Saturday Review stationery. Fine letter that explains the origins of perhaps Ciardi's least known book, done in collaboration with Laurence Perrine and James Reid, a programmed poetry textbook called Poetry: A Closer Look. In short, it was the work of Reid, who took the idea "from an article 1had published in SR." He then spends two paragraphs defending the book, despite the "mechanical" method: "There are 300+ sound questions asked in that book and in a meticulously reasoned order. How many teachers to you know who could ask their questions that well[?] 1 couldn't offhand."

30) CIARDI LETTER TO PROFESSOR HENRY LEFFERT (three letters)
- Dated June 5, 1952. On Twayne Publishers letterhead and in envelope printed with his home address, 84 South St., Medford 55, Mass. Seven-line note agreeing to speak "on any Monday that suits your convenience."
- Autograph Letter Signed. To Professor Henry Leffert. Dated October 26, 1955. No envelope. On Rutgers letterhead with his home address stamped on top, 31 Graham Ave, Metuchen. Seven-line note agreeing to "gather some thoughts on the matter of poetry and translation.”
- Typed Letter Signed to Professor Henry Leffert. Dated October 30, 1958. On Saturday Review letterhead and with matching envelope (small size). Home address on the letterhead, 31 Graham Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Twelve-line note agreeing to speak "some Monday in the second semester."

31) LETTER TO LEWIS TURC0 (May 16 (?) 1979)
Autographed Letter Signed. On one of Ciardi's cards: "Some of the best people everywhere are waiting for less than happens every time you smile." Friendly note about book binding and his own Franklin Library edition of the Divine Comedy.

32) "AUDIT AT KEY WEST"
Approx.9x14. Broadside/Poster. Signed by Ciardi.

33) “OF THE KINGDOM” Typed poem, signed.

34) CIFELLI LETTER TO SYLVIA BOWMAN (June 6, 1973) TLS

35) ALBERTA HINES LETTER TO ED CIFELLI (June 12, 1973) TLS

36) “THE INFERNO” Advertising Brochure (1954).

37) CIARDI AND “TREAT IT GENTLE”

38) JOHN CIARDI BY AMERICO TIRONE

39) HAYFORD ON CIARDI

40) JOHN CIARDI: RPOSE PIECES, ETC

41) POEMS ABOUT JOHN

42) NOTES

43) DEDICATION OF THE JOHN CIARDI COLLECTION (SUNYSB- Nov. 19, 2003)

44) PICTURES