Best 60 of Stephen Spender quotes - MyQuotes

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Stephen Spender
By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

What we call the freedom of the individual is not just the luxury of one intellectual to write what he likes to write but his being a voice which can speak for those who are silent.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

If you get to a certain age, all people want to know about you is people you knew. ...An American student once said to me, you know, isn't it extraordinary that I am alive and you're not dead.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

All that you can imagine you already know.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Deep in the winter plain, two armies Dig their machinery, to destroy each other. Men freeze and hunger. No one is given leave On either side, except the dead, and wounded.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

A poet has to adapt himself, more or less consciously,to the demands of his vocation, and hence the peculiarities of poets and the condition of inspiration which many people have said is near to madness... The problem of creative writing is essentially one of concentration... a focusing of the attention in a special way.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

All one can do is to achieve nakedness, to be what one is with all one's faculties and perceptions, strengthened by all the skill which one can acquire. And then to stand before the judgement of time.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

My brothers and sister and I were brought up in an atmosphere which I would describe as 'Puritan decadence'. Puritanism names the behaviour which is condemned; Puritan decadence regards the name itself as indecent, and pretends that the object behind that name does not exist until it is named.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great...Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun, and left the vivid air signed with their honor.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

But reading is not idleness?it is the passive, receptive side of civilization without which the active and creative world would be meaningless. It is the immortal spirit of the dead realised within the bodies of the living. It is sacramental.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

I think of those who were truly great. The names of those who in their lives fought for life, Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

My words like eyes that flinch from light, refuse And shut upon obscurity; my acts Cast to their opposites by impatient violence Break up the sequent path; they fly On a circumference to avoid the centre.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Cult: simply an extension of the idea that everyone's supreme aim in life is self- fulfillment and happiness and that one is entitled to wreck marriage, children and certainly one's health and sanity in pursuit of this.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Never allow gradually the traffic to smother with noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

What the eye delights in, no longer dictates My greed to enjoy: boys, grass, the fenced-off deer. It leaves those figures that distantly play On the horizon's rim: they sign their peace, in games.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

For I had expected always Some brightness to hold in trust, Some final innocence To save from dust

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

You drive the landscape like a herd of clouds Moving against your horizontal tower Of steadfast speed. All England lies beneath you like a woman With limbs ravished By one glance carrying all these eyes.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields, See how these names are fĂȘted 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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Religion stands, the Church blocking the sun.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

All the posters on the walls All the leaflets in the streets Are mutilated, destroyed or run in rain, Their words blotted out with tears, Skins peeling from their bodies In the victorious hurricane.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Involved in my own entrails and a crust Turning a pitted surface towards a space, I am a world that watches through a sky And is persuaded by mirrors To regard its being as an external shell, One of a universe of stars and faces.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Paul Valery speaks of the 'une ligne donnee' of a poem. One line is given to the poet by God or by nature, the rest he has to discover for himself.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Death to the killers, bringing light to life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

The iron arc of the avoiding journey Curves back upon my weakness at the end; Whether the faint light spark against my face Or in the dark my sight hide from my sight, Centre and circumference are both my weakness.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Sometimes when I am writing, I am aware of a rhythm, a dance, a fury, which is as yet empty of words.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

The greatest of all human delusions is that there is a tangible goal, and not just direction towards an ideal aim. The idea that a goal can be attained perpetually frustrates human beings, who are disappointed at never getting there, never being able to stop.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Memory exercised in a particular way is a natural gift of poetic genius. The poet above all else, is a person who never forgets certain sense impressions which he has experienced and which he can relive again as though with all their original freshness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

There is a certain justice in criticism. The critic is like a midwife - a tyrannical midwife.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

No one Shall hunger: Man shall spend equally. Our goal which we compel: Man shall be man.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

The ultimate aim of politics is not politics, but the activities which can be practised within the political framework of the State. Therefore an effective statement of these activities - e.g. science, art, religion - is in itself a declaration of ultimate aims around which the political means will crystallise... a society with no values outside of politics is a machine carrying its human cargo, with no purpose in its institutions reflecting their care, eternal aspirations, loneliness, need for love.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

There is a certain justice in criticism.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Although Poets are vain and ambitious, their vanity and ambition are of the purest kind attainable in this world. They are ambitious to be accepted for what they altimately are as revealed in their poetry.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

History is the ship carrying living memories to the future.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

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 .

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

So i learned both to accept myself and to aim beyond myself

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

Bright clasp of her whole hand around my finger My daughter as we walk together now. All my life I'll feel a ring invisibly Circle this bone with shining When she is grown.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

An English poet writes, I think, just for people who are interested in poetry. An American poet writes, and feels that everyone ought to appreciate this. Then he has a deep sense of grievance . . .

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

When I saw photographs of children murdered by the Fascist, I felt furious pity. When the supporters of Franco talked of Red atrocities, I merely felt indignant that people should tell such lies. In the first case I saw corpses, in the second only words. . . I gradually acquired a certain horror of the way in which my own mind worked. It was clear to me that unless I cared about every murdered child impartially, I did not really care about children being murdered at all.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Stephen Spender

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

My uncle was famous for his balanced point of view. At the time of which I am writing (when he was nearly seventy) it had become so balanced, that the act of balancing seemed rather automatic.One had only to offer him an opinion for him to balance it with a counter- opinion of exactly the same weight, as a grocer puts a pound weight against a pound of sugar.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Stephen Spender

Paint here no draped despairs, no saddening clouds, Where the soul rests, proclaims eternity. But let the wrong cry out as raw as wounds, This Time forgets and never heals, far less transcends.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Stephen Spender

If Rilke cut himself shaving, he would bleed poetry.