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Mark Van Doren Quotes


An American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, writer and a critic.
(1894 - 1972)

Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king.
 

Nothing in man is more serious than his sense of humor; it is the sign that he wants all the truth.
 

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
 

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.
 

The literature of the world has exerted its power by being translated.
 

There are two statements about human beings that are true: that all human beings are alike, and that all are different. On those two facts all human wisdom is founded.
 

There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can ... give all our attention to the opportunity before us.
[The Present]
 

To fail to love is not to exist at all.
 

When it aims to express a love of the world it refuses to conceal the many reasons why the world is hard to love, though we must love it because we have no other, and to fail to love it is not to exist at all.
 

Wit is the only wall Between us and the dark.