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Truly Great by Stephen Spender

            "I think continually of those who were truly great" is a poem written by the author Stephen Spender. This poem is written in free verse with three stanzas having eight, seven, and eight lines in each. The time period for this poem was in the 1930's during war; which influenced Spender to write about the soldiers who were in the war. However, this poem is not strictly about the soldiers, but also about people who believe in themselves and fight for what they believe in. The use of "I" lets the reader know that the speaker is the author and the actual voice of the poem. The opening line of this poem helps the reader understand that the speaker is addressing the great; the verb "were" tells the reader that the speaker is reminiscing about the dead. Spender uses a vivid source of spiritual and natural imagery throughout his poem to convey these messages to the reader.
             In the first stanza, Spender starts his first line with the title of the poem. Here he explains that the importance of the word "truly" (line 1) is being the best and sets the theme for the rest of the poem. Another important word here is "continually" (line 1), because something cannot be thought of as continuous if it is stopped. The fact that he continues to speak and reminisce on these people lets the reader know that they have left an imprint on him. As the poem continues, Spender describes the remembered souls emerging from the corridors of light and the song of the sun. In this instance, the sun is used as a source of time which indicates the days. The author portrays that the souls of these individuals have came out of the light and now returning to the light or "spirit" (line 6). The imagery in this poem is linked to life and inspiration of the real world. The endless singing described in this poem depicts happiness and celebration. The great people described in this poem are those whose memory remain fresh "like blossoms" (line 8).

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