David Ferry was born in Orange, New Jersey. He served in the Air Force for three years and became sergeant before matriculating at Amherst College, where he received a bachelor’s degree, and then continuing at Harvard where he earned a Ph.D. After graduating, Ferry began teaching at Wellesley College, where he was a member of the faculty for over fifty years. Well-known as a translator of some of the world's major works of poetry, he is also a prize-winning poet in his own right.
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"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."