Write short essays on the following: 10×2=20

a. Explain the title of the poem “I think continually of those who are truly great.”

The title of the poem “I think continually of those who are truly great” by Stephen Spender is thought-provoking and reflective of the poem’s central themes and tone. This title serves as a doorway into the poet’s contemplative and introspective exploration of greatness, both in its conventional forms and its deeper, more profound aspects.

At first glance, the title seems to suggest a meditation on individuals who have achieved conventional greatness – those who are renowned for their accomplishments, talents, and societal contributions. The phrase “truly great” implies a level of distinction that goes beyond mere fame or recognition. This initial interpretation hints at the poet’s intention to ponder the impact of remarkable figures who have left a significant mark on history.

However, as the poem unfolds, it becomes clear that the title’s meaning goes beyond surface-level achievements. The poem delves into a more nuanced understanding of greatness, one that encompasses the qualities of compassion, empathy, and genuine concern for humanity. The poet contemplates not only those who have achieved conventional greatness but also those who have displayed profound kindness, empathy, and selflessness. This expansion of the concept of greatness challenges conventional notions and emphasizes the significance of inner qualities.

The title also introduces the theme of continuous thought. The phrase “I think continually” suggests a sense of persistent reflection and contemplation. This ongoing mental engagement reflects the poet’s deep connection with the subject matter and his desire to explore the complexities of greatness from multiple angles. The title, therefore, prepares the reader for a contemplative and introspective journey that goes beyond surface-level admiration.

Furthermore, the title’s use of the word “continually” indicates a sense of timelessness. This choice of language conveys the idea that greatness, whether conventional or profound, is not confined to a specific era or moment. The poem, then, becomes a meditation on the enduring nature of greatness and its impact across generations.

In conclusion, the title of Stephen Spender’s poem “I think continually of those who are truly great” encapsulates the poem’s multi-faceted exploration of greatness. It draws readers into a realm of introspection where both conventional accomplishments and deeper qualities are contemplated. Through its choice of words and phrasing, the title sets the stage for a thoughtful examination of the concept of greatness and its enduring relevance in human history and consciousness.

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