Stephen Spender

(28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995 / England)

The Shapes of Death


Shapes of death haunt life,
Neurosis eclipsing each in special shadow:
Unrequited love not solving
One’s need to become another’s body
Wears black invisibility:
The greed for property
Heaps a skyscraper over the breathing ribs:
The speedlines of dictators
Cut their own stalks:
From afar, we watch the best of us –
Whose adored desire was to die for the world.

Ambition is my death. That flat thin flame
I feed, that plants my shadow. This prevents love
And offers love of being loved or loving.
The humorous self-forgetful drunkenness
It hates, demands the slavish pyramids
Be built. Who can prevent
His death’s industry, which when he sleeps
Throws up its towers? And conceals in slackness
The dreams of revolution, the birth of death?

Also the swallows by autumnal instinct
Comfort us with their effortless exhaustion
In great unguided flight to their complete South.
There on my fancied pyramids they lodge
But for delight, their whole compulsion.
Not teaching me to love, but soothing my eyes;
Not saving me from death, but saving me for speech.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Shapes of Death by Stephen Spender )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Passion Of Existence, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  2. 'It is, what it is', Mae AC.
  3. To Perish In Paris, Curtlan Popo
  4. Depths Of Self - Assertion, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Much More To Life There Is To Live, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  6. Our first meet, gajanan mishra
  7. Intensity Of A Mere Poet, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. Distant Whirring, Curtlan Popo
  9. A Challenge Title Contest - 2014's Oct N.., Brian Johnston
  10. Intuitively Wondering, RoseAnn V. Shawiak

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. Barbie Doll, Marge Piercy

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]