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Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received[…]

“Unsaid” is about leading lives that are invisible to everyone else.

Topic: Dana Gioia reads Unsaid

Dana Gioia: Sometimes poems end up being things you don’t initially intend. I was asked to write a poem about New Year’s Day by NPR years ago. And I wrote a 36-line poem. It was quite elegant. And I began to . . . After it was broadcast, I began to revise it and revise it and revise it. And it finally ended up being a six-line poem that had nothing to do with New Year’s. Instead it had to do with how much of the lives we lead are invisible to anyone else. The poem is called “Unsaid.” “So much of what we live goes on inside. The diaries of grief. The tongue-tied aches of unacknowledged love are no less real for having passed unsaid. What we conceal is always more than what we dare confide. Think of the letters that we write __________.”

Recorded On: 7/6/07