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Government backs drive for young to learn poetry by heart

Department for Education funds contest for schoolchildren to learn and recite verse From the 14th century Middle English of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to a 2010 composition by Jacob Sam-La Rose,...

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What poems do you know by heart?

The government is backing a scheme to get young people to learn poetry. What poems would you recommend, and which can you quote? News of a government drive to encourage learning poetry by heart...

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Letter: Christopher Martin-Jenkins got me into Wisden - as a poet

It was Christopher Martin-Jenkins who got me into Wisden – not, to my regret, as a slow bowler, but as a poet. When he was editor of The Cricketer in the 1980s he published various poems and drawings...

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Poems on the Underground: copycats and controversies

Poems on the Underground's Judith Chernaik relives her battles with Polo Mints and Greenpeace I have had to handle quite a few crises during my 25 or so years at the helm of Poems on the Underground....

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How difficult is it to learn a poem by heart?

The government wants children to memorise poetry at school. Our writer joins in by committing a few verses to memory. But it's not easy Reading this on mobile? Click here to view the video My literary...

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The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin – review

An unusual selection of a surprisingly modern master's work Well, it's taken Pushkin Press 15 years to get round to it, but at last it has published a book by its namesake. "The Queen of Spades" not...

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Gay Cuban-American poet to recite at Obama's inauguration

Richard Blanco will become the first ever Hispanic or homosexual person to read at a president's swearing-in The award-winning Cuban-American gay poet Richard Blanco is set to become the first ever...

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Valerie Eliot remembered

TS Eliot's widow was no writer herself, but her experience and stories alone establish her literary importance She would occasionally come by my Bloomsbury premises after a bibulous Italian lunch with...

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Songs and Sonnets by Paul Muldoon – review

This new dazzling collection of poetry, full of shifting semantics and shrewd allusions, will rock your world With its double-sided title, the latest release from poet, professor and occasional rock...

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The Saturday Poem: Meeting Walt, 1959

by George Szirtes The year of Cuba and Sleeping Beauty, it wasmy third year to heaven in London Primarywith Mrs Haynes on dinner rounds, her summaryjustice a smack with the spoon, reminding usof...

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Lost Robert Burns manuscripts discovered

Original versions of two poems, as well as letter from poet's beloved 'Clarinda' Three long-lost manuscripts by Robert Burns – as well as correspondence between the beloved Scottish author and his...

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Why Faber Voices is well worth shouting about

Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and co speak for themselves in 20-minute poetry selections for iPhone and iPad The biggest cheer on Room 101 the other week came when John Craven said he wanted to banish...

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Poem of the week: Shepherds by Sasha Dugdale

Both modern and ancient, this variation on the pastoral is a poignant meditation on the fate of the South Downs This week's poem, "Shepherds", gives contemporary resonance to the pastoral elegy. It's...

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Radio 4 courts controversy with broadcast of Tony Harrison's V

New version of writer's expletive-laden 1980s poem to be broadcast in February as part of celebration of poetryWarning: this story contains offensive language BBC Radio 4 is likely to prompt one of...

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Poetry competition winner exposed as plagiarist

Christian Ward's poem 'The Deer at Exmoor' found to be almost identical to poem by Helen Mort The poet Christian Ward has said that he had "no intention of deliberately plagiarising" the work of...

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Sharon Olds wins TS Eliot poetry prize for Stag's Leap collection on divorce

New York poet unanimous winner of £15,000 prize as judges praise 'grace and chivalry' in her writing A series of poems that describe the sharp grief of divorce and the slow, painful, incremental creep...

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Learning poetry by heart: do you, would you, could you?

The government wants kids to learn poems by heart but is it the best way to appreciate poetry? If you have been keeping your eyes peeled and your ears open recently you may have heard that the...

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How strong emotion summons poetry

Only poetry, sunk deep into our bones, can articulate our most intense moments I'm excited about reading the TS Eliot Prize shortlist, especially winner Sharon Olds's Stag's Leap. Olds says she "wants...

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Sharon Olds on transforming life into art – video

In the week when Sharon Olds won the TS Eliot prize with a collection of poems exploring her divorce, she reads from Stag's Leap and discusses how life passes into art

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Poster poems: Crime

A tough challenge for the year's first assignment: please file your reports here After the glories of last year's monthly calendar series, Poster Poems is sticking with things that come in dozens for...

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