Mourning Walter Davis

July 30th, 2007

I hope you receive a deluge of letters honoring Professor Walter Davis, who died in December (Obituaries, May/June). A brilliant scholar and teacher who was humble and humane, Professor Davis taught by example that intelligence need not be coupled with arrogance, and that only the dullards among us take themselves too seriously. He taught his students to love poetry and to interpret literature in a critical and soul-infused way. I can still hear him bursting into song in order to explain a historical reference in a poem. The certificate he made for his students who read all 1,000-plus pages of Spenser’s epic poem, The Faerie Queene, still sits framed on my bookshelf. I am deeply grateful for his guidance and inspiration, and am terribly, selfishly sad that he is gone.

Amanda Doster ’02

Greenfield, Mass.

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July / August 2007