Stephen Spender Quotes (64 quotes)
“Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do.”
As quoted in The New York Times (26 March 1961)
“Since we are what we are, what shall we be
But what we are? We are, we have
Six feet and seventy years, to see
The light, and then resign it for the grave.”
Spiritual Explorations from Poems of Dedication (1947)
“There is a certain justice in criticism. The critic is like a midwife — a tyrannical midwife.”
Lecture at Brooklyn College, as quoted in The New York Times (20 November 1984)
“When a child, my dreams rode on your wishes,
I was your son, high on your horse,
My mind a top whipped by the lashes
Of your rhetoric, windy of course.”
On his father in The Public Son of a Public Man as quoted in TIMEmagazine (20 January 1986)
“I'm struggling at the end to get out of the valley of hectoring youth, journalistic middle age, imposture, moneymaking, public relations, bad writing, mental confusion.”
On turning 70 in Journals 1939-83 (1986), as quoted by R Z Sheppard in TIMEmagazine (20 January 1986)
Not Palaces (l. 8–9).
“Eye, gazelle, delicate wanderer,
Drinker of horizon's fluid line;
Ear that suspends on a chord
The spirit drinking timelessness;
Touch, love, all senses...”
Not Palaces(l. 12–16)...
Shall hunger: Man shall spend equally.
Our goal which we compel: Man shall be man.”
Not Palaces (l. 23–25)
“After the first powerful plain manifesto
The black statement of pistons, without more fuss
But gliding like a queen, she leaves the station.”
The Express (l. 1–3) in Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (1988) edited by Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair
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Picture Source: WikipediaStephen Spender
Born: February 28, 1909
Died: July 16, 1995 (aged 86)
Occupation: Poet, novelist, essayist
Bio: 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.