Monday, March 15, 2010

Daybreak - S. Spender

My introduction to Spender occurred in my early 20s through this poem.  He wrote it in his mid-30s.  Spender is as well-regarded for his autobiographical works as his poetry.  I find him more accessible - and less academic - than W.H. Auden (THE English poet of the 20th century), who was a contemporary at Oxford in the 1930s.  Spender, to me, has more warmth, more "dream", lyricism, and sensitivity when the subject is the heart.  

This poem is the loveliest expression of that awakening which, once experienced, is never forgotten, and which, once lost, is ever sought after again.


At dawn she lay with her profile at that angle

Which, when she sleeps, seems the carved face of an angel.
Her hair a harp, the hand of a breeze follows
And plays, against the white cloud of the pillows.
Then, in a flush of rose, she woke, and her eyes that opened
Swam in blue through her rose flesh that dawned.
From her dew of lips, the drop of one word
Fell like the first of fountains: murmured
‘Darling,’ upon my ears the song of the first bird.
‘My dream becomes my dream,’ she said, ‘come true.
I waken from you to my dream of you.’
Oh, my own wakened dream then dared assume
The audacity of her sleep.  Our dreams
Poured into each other’s arms, like streams.
Stephen Spender -

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