Re: What is the measure of a good life?
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 a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.
Gioia has published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.
Question: What is the measure of a good life?
Dana Gioia: Well a measure of a good life, I think, is to . . . to live truthfully to your own principles; to . . . to do work; to be kind; to be generous; to have responsibility to the people you love and who love you. And that’s a very simple, you know, measure. Of course you can create, you know, marvelous inventions, gather vast wealth. That strikes me as very secondary. My sense of a good life is . . . is in a very domestic, human sense. And I think people need to take their life seriously. You know you only get one . . . one time around the block. And you . . . What you want to come out of that is a sense that you’ve lived your life well.
Recorded On: 7/6/07
To live truthfully to your own principles.
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