Stephen Spender

1909 (London) – 1995 (London)

Eliot, who got him published, chided him for wanting to be a poet, rather than wanting to write poetry. Auden and Isherwood (close friends from university) strongly impressed him; MacNeice and Day Lewis also befriended him. He met Bowles in Berlin, and got a forged Spanish passport (‘Ramos Ramos’) from Malraux. In Russia he was astonished to find that Pasternak knew his work well, and met and supported Brodsky. He went to Wales with the teenage Freud, and to China with Hockney. Ginsberg, McCarthy, Hughes and Bacon were all friends, and Humphries his son-in-law. Thomas and Woolf both despaired of him.