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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Understanding Good Writing, And Truth

“The job of the poet is to render the world - to see it and report it without loss, without perversion. No poet ever talks about feelings. Only sentimental people do.” – Mark Van Doren

I wrote earlier about Van Doren, who won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for his book Collected Poems 1922–1938.   Interestingly he became the second member of his family to win a Pulitzer, his older brother Carl earning the honor in 1938.    

The author of numerous short stories, novels, and plays, Van Doren was above all a poet and a teacher. As Thomas Merton said in a letter to Van Doren, "You always used your gifts to make people admire and understand poetry and good writing and truth."   For Saturday’s Poem, here is Van Doren’s
   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?

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