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

Spring Thunder

Listen, The wind is still,
And far away in the night --
See! The uplands fill
With a running light.

Open the doors. It is warm;
And where the sky was clear--
Look! The head of a storm
That marches here!

Come under the trembling hedge--
Fast, although you fumble...
There! Did you hear the edge
of winter crumble

Read the full of Spring Thunder

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