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"Tribute to Stephen Spender"
An elegy by Isaiah Berlin.
"Ultima Ratio Regnum"
Stephen Spender
The poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum" and an excerpt from Spender's memoir World Within World.
Video: Stephen Spender
Video clips of interviews with Al Alvarez on 20th-century British poetry and creative writing classes. Must have RealVideo to view.
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Stephen Spender

Sir Stephen Harold Spender was born in 1909 in London. He attended Oxford University and fought in the Spanish Civil War. In the 1920s and 1930s he associated with other poets and socialists, such as W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Louis MacNeice, and C. Day Lewis, and his early poetry was often inspired by social protest. During World War II, Spender worked for the London fire service. He co-founded Horizon magazine with Cyril Connolly and served as its editor from 1939 to 1941. He was editor of Encounter magazine from 1953 to 1966.

Spender's books of poetry include Twenty Poems (1930), Vienna (1934), The Still Centre (1939), Poems of Dedication (1946), and The Generous Days (1971). Spender was professor of English at University College, London, from 1970 to 1977, and gave frequent lecture tours in the United States. He was knighted in 1983. Spender died in 1995.

A Selected Bibliography


Collected Poems 1928-1985 (1986)
Collected Poems, 1928-1953 (1955)
Poems of Dedication (1936)
Selected Poems (1974)
The Generous Days (1971)
The Still Centre (1939)
Twenty Poems (1930)
Vienna (1934)


World Within World (1951)


Trial of a Judge (1938)


Love-Hate Relations (1974)
The Creative Element (1953)
The Destructive Element (1935)
The God That Failed (1938)
The Making of a Poem (1955)
The Struggle of the Modern (1963)
The Thirties and After (1978)


The Backward Son (1940)


Letters (1980)


From the Image Archive
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