Sir Stephen Spender was born in London and attended Oxford University, where he became friends with the poet W. H. Auden. Auden convinced Spender that poets should find their material in the everyday world and in seemingly unpoetic things. In his poetry, Spender creates tension between the need to engage this world and a desire to transcend it. After being disillusioned with politics around 1940, his poetry became increasingly introspective.
What People are Saying
"I was surprised how attached I got to my poems. I've had "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg" memorized since my sophomore year, and whenever I get nervous or anxious about something I recite it to myself. "