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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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Quotations

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  • Ferdinand De Soto, sleeping
    In the river, never heard
    Four-and-twenty Spanish hooves
    Fling off their iron and cut the green,
    Leaving circles new and clean
    While over...
    Mark Van Doren (1894-1973), U.S. poet. The Distant Runners (l. 13-18). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harc...
  • ''But I am here,
    And they are far, and time is old.
    Within my dream the grass is cold;
    The legs and locked; the sky is dead.''
    Mark Van Doren (1894-1973), U.S. poet. The Distant Runners (l. 33-36). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harc...
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  • 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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