Frases de Stephen Spender

Stephen Spender Foto
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Stephen Spender

Fecha de nacimiento: 28. Febrero 1909
Fecha de muerte: 16. Julio 1995

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Sir Stephen Spender, CBE fue un poeta británico.

Hijo del escritor y periodista liberal Harold Spender, Stephen tuvo tres hermanos: el científico y explorador Michael, el fotógrafo Humphrey y Christine.

Estudió en la Escuela Gresham y más tarde en la Universidad de Oxford, marchando en 1930 a Alemania donde inició sus trabajos poéticos. Conoció de cerca la Alemania nazi y se manifestó como socialista. En 1937 se alistó en el Batallón Británico que conformó las Brigadas Internacionales que combatieron en defensa de la Segunda República Española durante la guerra civil de 1936 a 1938.

Al regreso a su país se alistó para el servicio de bomberos de Londres donde tuvo parte activa durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Mantuvo sus convicciones socialistas pero fue muy crítico con el comunismo a la firma del Pacto Ribbentrop-Mólotov.

Junto a Cyril Connolly y Peter Watson fundó la revista Horizon y más tarde Encounter. Enseñó en diversas instituciones americanas y ocupó la cátedra Elliston Chair de la Universidad de Cincinnati en 1953. En 1970 fue nombrado profesor de inglés del University College de Londres.

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Frases Stephen Spender

„The essential is
That all the 'I's should remain separate
Propped up under flowers, and no one suffer
For his neighbour. Then horror is postponed
For everyone until it settles on him
And drags him to that incommunicable grief
Which is all mystery or nothing.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Yet supposing that a bomb should dive Its nose right through this bed, with me upon it? The thought is obscene. Still, there are many To whom my death would only be a name, One figure in a column. The essential is That all the 'I's should remain separate Propped up under flowers, and no one suffer For his neighbour. Then horror is postponed For everyone until it settles on him And drags him to that incommunicable grief Which is all mystery or nothing. "Thoughts During An Air Raid"

„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"

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„History has tongues
Has angels has guns — has saved has praised —
Today proclaims
Achievements of her exiles long returned“

— Stephen Spender
Context: History has tongues Has angels has guns — has saved has praised — Today proclaims Achievements of her exiles long returned Now no more rootless, for whom her printed page Glazes their bruised waste years in one Balancing present sky. "Exiles From Their Land, History Their Domicile"

„Religion stands, the church blocking the sun.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Then, as they land, they hear the tolling bell Reaching across the landscape of hysteria, To where larger than all the charcoaled batteries And imaged towers against that dying sky, Religion stands, the church blocking the sun. "The Landscape near an Aerodrome"

„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.“

— 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.

„Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: What is precious is never to forget The delight of the blood drawn from ancient springs Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth; Never to deny its pleasure in the simple morning light, Nor its grave evening demand for love; Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit. "I Think of Those Who Were Truly Great"

„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"

„The laurelled exiles, kneeling to kiss these sands.
Number there freedom's friends.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: The laurelled exiles, kneeling to kiss these sands. Number there freedom's friends. One who Within the element of endless summer, Like leaf in amber, petrified by light, Studied the root of action. One in a garret Read books as though he broke up flints. "Exiles From Their Land, History Their Domicile"

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„All the lessons learned, unlearned“

— 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"

„Since we are what we are, what shall we be
But what we are?“

— Stephen Spender
Context: 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)

„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

„I'm pressed into the inside of a mask
At the back of love, the back of air, the back of light.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: The seen and seeing softly mutually strike Their glass barrier that arrests the sight. But the world's being hides in the volcanoes And the foul history pressed into its core; And to myself my being is my childhood And passion and entrails and the roots of senses; I'm pressed into the inside of a mask At the back of love, the back of air, the back of light. "The Mask"

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„The poetic method sees the centre of consciousness as the point where all that is significant in the surrounding world becomes aware and transformed“

— Stephen Spender
Context: The prose method might be described as that where the writer provides a complete description of all those material factors in the environment which condition his characters. The poetic method sees the centre of consciousness as the point where all that is significant in the surrounding world becomes aware and transformed; the prose method requires a description of that world in order to explain the characteristics of the people in it. The hero of the poetic method is Rimbaud; of the prose method, Balzac. Ch. 5

„Under the olive trees, from the ground
Grows this flower, which is a wound.“

— Stephen Spender
Context: Under the olive trees, from the ground Grows this flower, which is a wound. It is easier to ignore Than the heroes' sunset fire Of death plunged in their willed desire Raging with flags on the world's shore. "The Coward"

„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). . .

„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

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