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I Think Continually Of Those Who Were Truly Great

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Kennedi Woods

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of I Think Continually Of Those Who Were Truly Great

I Think Continually Of Those Who Were Truly Great
The Author's Purpose in Writing the Poem
Spender wants to emphasize the characteristics shown by "great men"

Paying Tribute
Free Verse; Unrhymed
Imagery of "Sun and Light"
Associations with Nature
Poem is lyrical; Spender's voice is vulnerable
Romantic/ Lyrical Tone of Spencer's Voice

Education: Oxford Days
Life as a Left-Wing Idealist
Activism and Accomplishments
Poetry Style

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple 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.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are fŠted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.
Translation/ Paraphrasing
I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who remember the essence of the past from birth
Through life's paths of endless light,
Endless and thoughtful. Whose lovely ambition
Was that they are fearless in all they say,
Should show that their spirits continue on.
And who stored hope in the arrival of spring
Their desires were abundant.

The precious things should never be forgotten
The delight of life, coming from ageless springs
Breaks through in the world within our minds first;
Don't take for granted the simplicity of morning light,
Nor the ability to show love in the evening;
Do not allow outside worries to cover you
With blinders that depress the spirit.

Near the snow, near then, in the highest fields Great ones are celebrated by the waving grass,
And by the flow of the clouds in the ski,
And the sounds of the wind;
They who fought for life and beliefs,
Who subjected their hearts to ridicule.
Born great and strong, they created change,
And left their marks on the world with honor.


Class Discussion/Engagement
In your tables, think of a historical figure who you consider "truly great." Please describe to the class what this individual did that causes you to classify him or her as a "great individual.
Full transcript