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Poetry from M.I.T.; Mark Van Doren

Part of From the Vault. Part of Nine Poets Walk Into An Institute of Technology.


In this recording, one of several poetry readings and talks from M.I.T. that aired on WGBH in 1963, Mark Van Doren speaks extemporaneously on several themes relating to his own poems. Selecting examples that he has specifically chosen for their relevance to the work of MIT, Van Doren reads original works including "Segments," “Axle Song,” “Men Do Not Leave Things So,” “The Last Look,” and “Night’s End,” many of which come from much earlier volumes, ranging from 7 P.M. and Other Poems (1926) to The Last Look (1937). In the process, Van Doren speaks on a number of pertinent topics, from numbers and numbering to lines and lineation, gesturing more implicitly toward emergent sciences from biochemistry to ecology to particle physics. "My subject," Van Doren concludes, "is the Earth." This recording also includes an extended question and answer period, with Van Doren fielding queries about symbolism in his work, his writing process, and the compatibility—or lack thereof—between a scientific background and poetic activity. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Jim Cocola.

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Poetry from M.I.T.
Mark Van Doren
Series Description

Radio series. Series release date: 1963

Program Description




Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Artistic Influences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Poetry readings (Sound recordings)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972
Art and Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Performance for a Live Audience
Event Coverage
Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972 (Speaker)
Publication Information
Posted with permission provided by the Estate of Mark Van Doran
Chicago: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Mark Van Doren,” 01/01/1963, GBH Archives, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Mark Van Doren.” 01/01/1963. GBH Archives. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Poetry from M.I.T.; Mark Van Doren. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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