Stephen Spender Quotes

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.
Stephen Spender (1909-1995), British poet, critic. The Struggle of the Modern, pt. 2, ch. 3, University of California Press (1963).
(0) (1)
Critics of visual arts and of music describe in words—that is to say, a system of signs other than those made by brushes on canvas or chisels into stone or notes of music—those characteristics of painting or sculpture or music which can be described or analysed. Visual artists and composers can disregard critics on the ground that the medium of verbal criticism bears so indirect a relation to the medium in which they make something. Poets are in a different situation. With the development of so-called scientific methods of criticism they are made ever conscious that criticism of poetry is in the same medium of work as the art which they practise. "Close analysis" is useful to critics and readers. But for the poet there is the danger of disintegration of poetry into paraphrase, examination of technique, influences, all analysed in the language of criticism.
Stephen Spender (1909-1995), British poet, critic. "Tradition-Bound Literature and Traditionless Painting," The Struggle of the Modern, University of California Press (1963).
(0) (1)
Consider his life which was valueless In terms of employment, hotel ledgers, news files. Consider. One bullet in ten thousand kills a man. Ask. Was so much expenditure justified On the death of one so young and so silly Lying under the olive tree, O world, O death?
Stephen Spender (1909-1995), British poet. Ultima Ratio Regum (l. 19-24). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
(1) (1)
What I had not foreseen Was the gradual day Weakening the will Leaking the brightness away,
Stephen Spender (1909-1995), British poet. What I Expected Was (l. 9-12). . . New Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1950. Helen Gardner, ed. (1972) Oxford University Press.
(1) (1)