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Stephen Spender
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    (February 28, 1909-July 16, 1995)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Poetry collections include 'Twenty Poems' (1930), 'Vienna' (1934), 'The Still Centre' (1939), 'Ruins and Visions' (1942), 'Poems of Dedication' (1947), 'The Edge of Being' (1949), 'The Express' (1966), 'The Generous Days' (1971), 'Recent Poems' (1978) and 'Dolphins' (1994)
    Wrote the novel 'The Temple' (completed 1929, published 1988)
    Wrote the drama 'Trial of a Judge' (1938)
    Wrote the opera libretto 'Rasputin's End' (1958)
    Wrote the non-fiction works 'The Destructive Element' (1935), 'Life and the Poet' (1942), 'European Witness' (1946), 'World Within World' (1951), 'The Struggle of the Modern' (1963), 'The Year of the Young Rebels' (1969) and 'Love-Hate Relations' (1974)
    Named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1962)
    He said, 'I regarded myself as a failed version of myself.'
    He claimed he failed every exam he ever took except his driving test.
    He joined the British Communist party in the 30s.
    In later editions of his poems, he toned down homosexual allusions, for example revising the line 'Whatever happens, I shall never be alone. I shall always have a boy, a railway fare, or a revolution' to 'I shall always have an affair, a railway fare, or a revolution.'
    He was Dame Edna Everage's father-in-law.
    He wrote about his disillusionment with communism in 'The God That Failed.' (1949)
    His marriage to pianist Natasha Litvin lasted 54 years until his death.
    He was a founder of the magazine 'Index on Censorship,' inspired by the conviction of two Russian writers on charges of 'anti-Soviet agitation.'
    Ronald Reagan quoted his poem 'The Truly Great' at a ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Credit: C. Fishel

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