Mark Van Doren
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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Mark Van Doren Poems
After Long Drought
After long drought, commotion in the sky; After dead silence, thunder. Then it comes, The rain. It slashes leaves, and doubly drums On tin and shingle; beats and bends awry
Listen, The wind is still, And far away in the night -- See! The uplands fill With a running light.
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 Deepest Dream
The deepest dream is of mad governors, Down, down we feel it, till the very crust Of the world cracks, and where there was no dust, Atoms of ruin rise. Confusion stirs,
He Loves Me
That God should love me is more wonderful Than that I so imperfectly love him. My reason is mortality, and dim Senses; his--oh, insupportable--
I wake and hearing it raining. Were I dead, what would I give Lazily to lie here, Like this, and live?
Nothing stays not even change, That can grow tired of it's own name;
Equality is absolute or no. Nothing between can stand. We are the sons Of the same sire, or madness breaks and runs Through the rude world. Ridiculous our woe
Dunce Songs : 9
Love me little, love me long, Then we neither can be wrong: You in giving, I in taking; There is nor a heart breaking
Farewell and Thanksgiving
Whatever I have left unsaid When I am dead O'muse forgive me. You were always there,
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
After Long Drought
After long drought, commotion in the sky;
After dead silence, thunder. Then it comes,
The rain. It slashes leaves, and doubly drums
On tin and shingle; beats and bends awry
The flower heads; puddles dust, and with a sigh
Like love sinks into grasses, where it hums
As bees did once, among chrysanthemums
And asters when the summer thought to die.
The whole world dreamed of this, and has it now.
Nor was the waking easy. The dull root
Is jealous of its death; the sleepy brow
Smiles in its slumber; and a heart can fear
The very flood it longed ...