Stephen Spender’s poem around greatness was composed in the 1930s throughout wartime, and also has berwcchristchurchappeal.come virtually his ‘signature’ poem.

You are watching: I think continually of those who were truly great


The Truly great by Stephen Spender

I think continuous of those that were important great.Who, indigenous the womb, mental the soul’s historyThrough corridors that light, wherein the hrs are suns,Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambitionWas that their lips, still touched v fire,Should call of the Spirit, clothed indigenous head come foot in song.And who hoarded indigenous the feather branchesThe desires falling throughout their bodies prefer blossoms.

What is precious, is never ever to forgetThe crucial delight that the blood drawn from ageless springsBreaking v rocks in worlds before our earth.Never to deny its satisfied in the morning basic lightNor its grave evening demand for love.Never to allow gradually the traffic to smotherWith noise and also fog, the flowering of the spirit.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,See how these names are fêted by the waving grassAnd by the streamers the white cloudAnd whispers of wind in the hear sky.The surname of those that in their lives dealt with for life,Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.Born that the sun, they travelled a short while towards the sunAnd left the vivid wait signed v their honour.


The an initial verse celebrate those who have actually been passionate enough to do crucial things or had actually the desire to do changes. Materialism has not mattered to this ‘truly great’, however with your awareness of history “from the womb”, they have actually been able come dwell in a continuous light and to enjoy an power which is favor branches blossoming through the feather (a price of life itself).


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The second stanza concentrates on the difficult work done by the “truly great”. Their initiatives are timeless, castle have had to put aside distractions, and even love, in order to reach your goals.

The 3rd verse, rich through imagery, proclaims the blog post that these an excellent ones will never ever be forgotten. Native mountaintops and also their snow, come waving grasslands, and also even in the sky, the names of those who have made a difference will it is in remembered. They were “born that the sun”, and also the metaphor stresses the energy, colour, and life-giving forces linked to these good people. Spender is not certain about these an excellent ones – they can be military heroes, they might be poets or artists – however the really air is “signed v their honour”. Currently it is increase to united state to find out from your legacy.

Who would certainly be the ‘truly great’ people that you think of often? many of mine would be writers, artists and also performers – they inspire me, enrich me v their legacies and make me feel grateful that lock “travelled a short while toward the sun”.

Sir Stephen Harold Spender (1909 – 1995) to be an English poet, novelist and also essayist. His work-related often focuses on class struggle and social injustice. He was additionally a starting member of the Homosexual legislation Reform Society. Together a poet, he was ‘discovered’ through T.S. Eliot.


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Poets.org: Stephen Spender


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Featured picture credit- mount Corcoran by Albert Bierstadt, The Bridgeman art Library, object 4431473. Nationwide Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., virtual collection, publicly Domain, https://rwcchristchurchappeal.commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17147995Body picture credit- Stephen Spender in 1933 native https://flickr.rwcchristchurchappeal.com/photos/beatpiknik/2303393475/, same use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20789598