Sir Stephen Harold Spender was an English poet, novelist and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work. He was appointed the seventeenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress in 1965.
Spender was born in Kensington, London, to journalist, Edward Harold Spender and Violet Hilda Schuster, a painter and poet. He went first to Hall School in Hampstead and then at thirteen to Gresham's School, Holt and later Charlecote School in Worthing, but was unhappy there. On the death of his mother he was transferred to University College School (Hampstead), which he ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Stephen Spender Poems
I Think Continually
I think continually of those who were truly great. Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history Through corridors of light where the hours are suns Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum
Far far from gusty waves these children's faces. Like rootless weeds, the hair torn around their pallor.
At Dawn she lay with her profile at that angle Which, when she sleeps, seems the carved face of an angel.
The secret of these hills was stone, and cottages Of that stone made, And crumbling roads That turned on sudden hidden villages
I am glad I met you on the edge Of your barbarous childhood
On The Third Day
On the first summer day I lay in the valley. Above rocks the sky sealed my eyes with a leaf
A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map
A stopwatch and an ordnance map. At five a man fell to the ground And the watch flew off his wrist Like a moon struck from the earth
O Night O Trembling Night
O night O trembling night O night of sighs O night when my body was a rod O night When my mouth was a vague animal cry
Ultima Ratio Regum
The guns spell money's ultimate reason In letters of lead on the spring hillside. But the boy lying dead under the olive trees
On The Pilots Who Destroyed Germany In T...
I stood on a roof top and they wove their cage Their murmuring throbbing cage, in the air of blue crystal.
The Shapes of Death
Shapes of death haunt life, Neurosis eclipsing each in special shadow: Unrequited love not solving One’s need to become another’s body
The Landscape near an Aerodrome
More beautiful and soft than any moth With burring furred antennae feeling its huge path Through dusk, the air-liner with shut-off engines
Sometimes, apart in sleep, by chance, You fall out of my arms, alone, Into the chaos of your separate trance.
He will Watch the Hawk
He will watch the hawk with an indifferent eye Or pitifully; Nor on those eagles that so feared him, now Will strain his brow;
Comments about Stephen Spender
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
I Think Continually
I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny ...