Frasi di Stephen Spender

Stephen Spender foto
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Stephen Spender

Data di nascita: 28. Febbraio 1909
Data di morte: 16. Luglio 1995

Pubblicità

Stephen Spender è stato un poeta e saggista inglese.

Condivise per un certo periodo le posizioni ideologiche e culturali di Auden e di Day Lewis; durante la guerra civile si recò in Spagna ove lavorò a favore della causa repubblicana.

Con la raccolta Poems acquistò una posizione di primo piano nel panorama della poesia inglese contemporanea e nella corrente di rinnovamento del linguaggio poetico fiorita nel decennio 1930-1940. Dalla iniziale tematica politica e sociale, cui si mescolavano motivi di individualismo anarchico, Spender si è poi rivolto verso temi di più intima riflessione che trovano riscontro in toni di pacata meditazione.

Ha diretto la rivista Encounter dal 1953 al 1967.

Frasi Stephen Spender

„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.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: 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. "I Think of Those Who Were Truly Great"; also in Collected Poems 1928-1953 (1955)· [http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoem.do?poemId=7523 Full text online and audio file of recitation by Spender, at the Poetry Archive]

Pubblicità

„Let your ghost follow
The young men to the Pole, up Everest, to war: by
love, be shot.
For the uncreating chaos descends
And claims you in marriage: though a man, you were
ever a bride“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Let your ghost follow The young men to the Pole, up Everest, to war: by love, be shot. For the uncreating chaos descends And claims you in marriage: though a man, you were ever a bride: "The Uncreating Chaos"

„Opening, my eyes say 'Let there be light',
Closing, they shut me in a coffin.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: And if this I were destroyed, The image shattered, My perceived, rent world would fly In an explosion of final judgement To the ends of the sky, The colour in the iris of the eye. Opening, my eyes say 'Let there be light', Closing, they shut me in a coffin. "The Human Situation"

„The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire's centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields, See how these names are fêted in the waving grass And by the streamers of the white cloud And whispers of the wind in the listening sky. The names of those who in their lives fought for life, Who wore at their hearts the fire's centre. Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun And left the vivid air signed with their honour. "I Think of Those Who Were Truly Great"

„The immediate reaction of the poets who fought in the war was cynicism...“

— Stephen Spender
Context: The immediate reaction of the poets who fought in the war was cynicism... The war dramatized for them the contrast between the still-idealistic young, living and dying on the unalteringly horrible stage-set of the Western front, with the complacency of the old at home, the staff officers behind the lines. In England there was violent anti-German feeling; but for the poet-soldiers the men in the trenches on both sides seemed united in pacific feelings and hatred of those at home who had sent them out to kill each other.

„Ah, like a comet through flame she moves entranced“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Ah, like a comet through flame she moves entranced Wrapt in her music no bird song, no, nor bough Breaking with honey buds, shall ever equal. "The Express" (l. 25–27) in Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (1988) edited by Richard Ellmann and Robert O’Clair

„A poet can only write about what is true to his own experience, not about what he would like to be true to his experience.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: A poet can only write about what is true to his own experience, not about what he would like to be true to his experience. Poetry does not state truth, it states the conditions within which something felt is true. Even while he is writing about the little portion of reality which is part of his experience, the poet may be conscious of a different reality outside. His problem is to relate the small truth to the sense of a wider, perhaps theoretically known, truth outside his experience. Foreword

Pubblicità

„The spirit drinking timelessness;
Touch, love, all senses“

— Stephen Spender
Context: 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). . .

„I am for neither West nor East, but for myself considered as a self — one of the millions who inhabit the earth...“

— Stephen Spender
Context: I am for neither West nor East, but for myself considered as a self — one of the millions who inhabit the earth... If it seems absurd that an individual should set up as a judge between these vast powers, armed with their superhuman instruments of destruction I can reply that the very immensity of the means to destroy proves that judging and being judged does not lie in these forces. For supposing that they achieved their utmost and destroyed our civilization, whoever survived would judge them by a few statements. a few poems, a few témoignages [testimonies] surviving from all the ruins, a few words of those men who saw outside and beyond the means which were used and all the arguments which were marshaled in the service of those means. Thus I could not escape from myself into some social situation of which my existence was a mere product, and my witnessing a willfully distorting instrument. I had to be myself, choose and not be chosen... But to believe that my individual freedom could gain strength from my seeking to identify myself with the "progressive" forces was different from believing that my life must be an instrument of means decided on by political leaders. I came to see that within the struggle for a juster world, there is a further struggle between the individual who cares for long-term values and those who are willing to use any and every means to gain immediate political ends — even good ends. Within even a good social cause, there is a duty to fight for the pre-eminence of individual conscience. The public is necessary, but the private must not be abolished by it; and the individual must not be swallowed up by the concept of the social man.

„Both Hopkins and Lawrence were religious not just in the ritualistic sense but in the sense of being obsessed with the word — the word made life and truth — with the need to invent a language as direct as religious utterance.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Both Hopkins and Lawrence were religious not just in the ritualistic sense but in the sense of being obsessed with the word — the word made life and truth — with the need to invent a language as direct as religious utterance. Both were poets, but outside the literary fashions of their time. Both felt that among the poets of their time was an absorption in literary manners, fashions and techniques which separated the line of the writing from that of religious truth. Both felt that the modern situation imposed on them the necessity to express truth by means of a different kind of poetic writing from that used in past or present. Both found themselves driven into writing in a way which their contemporaries did not understand or respond to yet was inevitable to each in his pursuit of truth. Here of course there is a difference between Hopkins and Lawrence, because Hopkins in his art was perhaps over-worried, over-conscientious, whereas Lawrence was an instinctive poet who, in his concern for truth, understood little of the problems of poetic form, although he held strong views about them. Pt. 2, Ch. 3

„Some old man memory jumps to a child
— Spark from the days of energy.
And the child hoards it like a bitter toy.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: All the lessons learned, unlearned; The young, who learned to read, now blind Their eyes with an archaic film; The peasant relapses to a stumbling tune Following the donkey`s bray; These only remember to forget. But somewhere some word presses On the high door of a skull and in some corner Of an irrefrangible eye Some old man memory jumps to a child — Spark from the days of energy. And the child hoards it like a bitter toy. "Fall of a City"

Pubblicità

„Extensive whiteness drowned
All sense of space.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Extensive whiteness drowned All sense of space. We tramped through Static, glaring days, Time's suspended blank. "Polar Exploration"

„History is theirs whose language is the sun.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Unless, governor, teacher, inspector, visitor, This map becomes their window and these windows That shut upon their lives like catacombs, Break O break open 'till they break the town And show the children green fields and make their world Run azure on gold sands and let their tongues Run naked into books, the white and green leaves open History is theirs whose language is the sun. "An Elementary School Classroom In A Slum"

„To break out of the chaos of my darkness
Into a lucid day is all my will.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: To break out of the chaos of my darkness Into a lucid day is all my will. My words like eyes in night, stare to reach A centre for their light: and my acts thrown To distant places by impatient violence Yet lock together to mould a path of stone Out of my darkness into a lucid day. "Darkness And Light"

„Of course, the entire effort is to put myself
Outside the ordinary range
Of what are called statistics.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Of course, the entire effort is to put myself Outside the ordinary range Of what are called statistics. A hundred are killed In the outer suburbs. Well, well, I carry on. "Thoughts During An Air Raid"

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