SELECTED POEMS by Mark Van Doren


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An anthology comprising the beloved poet's best work over the last three decades is a welcome event in publishing in exhibiting the wide range of his talents as an artistic and sensitive observer of the worlds of matter and the spirit. For both kinds of readers- those to whom his poems are familiar and those for whom his writing is a new adventure, there will be the pleasure of his ever-fresh impressions from the simple thoughts in a long narrative poem like A Winter Diary to the more complicated imagery of the sonnets dated 1935. We can stop to relish such pictures as "" and tobacco, brownly mated, warming the day to come"", and dozens more of them to the heart's content. Or in the sonnet Between Sunset and Dark, the poet elevates the ordinary, envisioning in the sample time of twilight ""cool light"" that ""turns into dream"" what only appears to be real. The barest sample of the book, these can only indicate the many turns of a widely ranging mind that shifts to all subjects with a sincere inquiry- to love, and history, to envy and spring and getting dressed in the morning- seeing in each of them part of the core of reality and sharing with us his reverent fascination.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1954
Publisher: Henry Holt