Dante Alighieri was considered Italy's greatest poet. He is the author of the three canticles, The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso, along with La Vita Nuova. He died in 1321.
John Ciardi was a distinguished poet and professor, having taught at Harvard and Rutgers universities, and is a poetry editor of The Saturday Review. He was a winner of the Harriet Monroe Memorial Award and the Prix de Rome.