Born Brothers

Mark Van Doren 1894 (Vermilion County) – 1972 (Torrington)

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
If single pity does not love it. So
Our separate fathers love us. No man shuns
His poorest child's embrace. We are the sons
Of such, or ground and sky are soon to go.

Nor do born brothers judge, as good or ill,
Their being. Each consents and is the same,
Or suddenly sweet winds turn into flame
And floods are on us--fire, earth, water, air
All hideously parted, as his will
Withdraws, no longer fatherly and there.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Mark Van Doren

Mark Van Doren was an American poet, writer and a critic, apart from being a scholar and a professor of English at Columbia University for nearly 40 years, where he inspired a generation of influential writers and thinkers including Thomas Merton, Robert Lax, John Berryman, and Beat Generation writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. more…

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