Mark Van Doren

(June 13, 1894 – December 10, 1972 / Hope, Illinois,)

Born Brothers Poem by Mark Van Doren


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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