Mark Van Doren

(June 13, 1894 – December 10, 1972 / Hope, Illinois,)

Mark Van Doren
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Nationally famous as a novelist, playwright, critic, editor, and poet (his Collected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940), at the College Van Doren is also remembered as the quintessential great teacher. In his nearly four decades at Columbia, Van Doren introduced generations to Western literature and became a trusted friend and advisor to students and fellow teachers.

Born in Hope, Illinois, Van Doren came to Columbia just as the College was reinventing its curriculum after the war. Van Doren was at the core of the original band of young scholars who taught Erskine's General Honors course in the early 1920s. Years later, as a professor, Van Doren headed a crucial planning ... more »

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  • Rookie William Claire (4/3/2007 8:45:00 PM)

    The astonishing variety of poems in MarkVan Doren's Collected & New Poems, and two later volumes, Morning Worship and Good Morning, the latter introduced by Richard Howard, is staggering in its brilliance and knowledge of the world. A line can be drawn from Dryden and Wordsworth to modern day breakthroughs written long after his Pulitzer Prize volume of 1939.Poetry to him was a form of daily bread, and he has nourished, and will continue to nourish, readers to the end time.

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Best Poem of Mark Van Doren

Our Lady Peace

How far is it to peace, the piper sighed,
The solitary, sweating as he paused.
Asphalt the noon; the ravens, terrified,
Fled carrion thunder that percussion caused.

The envelope of earth was powder loud;
The taut wings shivered, driven at the sun.
The piper put his pipe away and bowed.
Not here, he said. I hunt the love-cool one,

The dancer with the clipped hair. Where is she?
We shook our heads, parting for him to pass.
Our lady was of no such trim degree,
And none of us had seen her face, alas.

She was the very ridges that we must ...

Read the full of Our Lady Peace Updates

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