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The Journey of a Poet

There are poets for whom a poem is an experience in process - a kind of journey. Line by line they seem to be opening up their eyes and hearts to perspectives and possibilities they did not dream of before they began the poem. Doris Peel was such a poet. A born writer, she wrote with the venturousness of a born traveler - and she was that too, composing poems and essays under datelines from the Mount of Olives to the Berlin wall.

No reader of Doris Peel was permitted to play the stay-at-home. ``Risk'' and ``challenge'' were two of her favorite words, and she compelled you to join her on her journey, leaving behind the safe and the comfortable, never to return quite the same.

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She had a wonderful eye for the diversities that set people and places apart. But what she was finally looking for on her journeys was a sacred similarity that made nobody a foreigner and every place a home. This was her cause for celebration.

Every journey is a gesture of going beyond, and from the first time she appeared on this page as a teenager more than six decades ago, going beyond was what Doris Peel was all about. Her prose pushed to cross the boundary into poetry. Her poetry stretched toward a country beyond words - pure vision, pure song. For her, the journey has become the destination. For her readers, the singer has become her song. Doris Peel, whose writings touched generations of readers around the world, passed on recently.

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