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Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets – review

Long faced by the permafrost of dictatorship, Burma's poets have deployed metaphor to ingenious effect The modernist phase of Burmese poetry, known as khitsan (meaning "testing the times"), emerged in...

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Poems on the Underground: time to celebrate 150 years of London life

The poems chosen to mark the 150th anniversary of the capital's tube system reflect both the history and diversity of London It's quite a challenge to choose poems for display on the tube during the...

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Letters: Churchill's poem is more parody than schoolboy patriotism

I enjoyed reading the poem which Winston Churchill wrote in 1899 or 1900 (Report, 7 February), but was puzzled by the comments of such experienced critics as Andrew Motion and Robert Potts. The former...

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Feminine mystique: Why Bell Jar cover obscures real women

Faber's new Sylvia Plath edition has been ridiculed for its coy chic, but many publishers are similarly shy of the second sex Faber has rightly taken stick for the chick-litstyle jacket of its...

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Lucretius, part 4: things fall apart | Emma Woolerton

A life too long lived is a misery in itself. When the body dies, the soul disperses as it is mortal like the world around us We need to know the world is made of atoms, Lucretius tells us, to stop us...

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Poem of the week: 'Time has disappeared/Lo temps s'es perdut' by Aurélia...

A mysterious set of vanishings are the allusive concerns whispering through this contemporary Occitan verse This week, we've an unusual treat, a contemporary poem by a writer who works in the language...

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Are these the 50 most influential books by women? | Robert McCrum

As readers pointed out, my last list was rather skewed to a male-dominated tradition. Here is an alternative perspective Last week's post about the 50 turning-points of English (and American)...

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Sylvia Plath: Lady Lazarus – video

Fifty years after Sylvia Plath's death, we present Lady Lazarus, an experimental film using recordings of the poet reading

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Chaucer's Valentine

A new poem for Valentine's Day by Carol Ann Duffy (for N.) The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne...but be my valentine                         and I'll one candle burn,love's light a fluent...

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Enter Philip Ardagh's Valentine's Day limerick competition!

Can you write a Valentine's limerick inspired by an opening line written by Philip Ardagh? Send us your romantic rhymes for the chance to win signed copies of his new book The Truth About Love Eddie...

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Guardian Books podcast: Carol Ann Duffy's Love Poems for Valentine's Day

In a special Valentine's Day book club, Carol Ann Duffy reads from a collection featuring the best of her love poetry. A ladies' maid considers the voluptuous life of her mistress upstairs as,...

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Robert Bly to receive Poetry Society of America's Frost Medal

American poet also known for the book Iron John, which helped inspire 'the expressive men's movement', and his translations The American poet Robert Bly is to be awarded the Frost Medal for a...

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Hidden treasures: Sir John Betjeman's Banana Blush

Betjeman described his debut album as a 'vulgar pop song record' but he was wrong: these tales of unconsumated love and mislaid virtue have extraordinary emotional power Back in April 1974, I picked...

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Guardian Books poetry podcast: Jo Shapcott reads Emily Dickinson

Jo Shapcott kicks off a new series of poets reading from their favourite work by another author. Shapcott picks Emily Dickinson Jo Shapcott Tim Maby

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Guardian Books Poetry podcast: Robin Robertson reads David Jones

Our series of poets choosing their favourite poem continues with Robin Robertson reading from David Jones's In Parenthesis Tim Maby

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Tony Harrison's poem V is a timeless portrayal of working-class aspiration

V reflects the social divisions that seem to have hardened 25 years after the poem's Channel 4 appearance caused outrage Whatever happened to the northern iconoclasts? You know, the likely lads and...

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Lucretius, part 5: all perceptions are true | Emma Woolerton

Everything we see is made up of the infinite atoms that swirl about us. These perceptions are the basis of our certain knowledge about the world How do we know that we're real? How do we know that we...

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Poem of the week: Otterspool Prom by Peter Robinson

Robinson's sonnet to Britain's early spring sunshine, with kites flying over the river Mersey, is casual, vital and graceful This week's poem, "Otterspool Prom," is a sonnet by Peter Robinson, from...

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Rare poem by 'world's worst poet' expected to fetch £3,000 at auction

19th-century poet William Topaz McGonagall, whose works were so detested he was pelted with rotten fish, has last laugh One of the unpublished works of a music hall performer from Dundee who gained...

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Guardian Books poetry podcast: Simon Armitage reads Ted Hughes

One Yorkshire poet reads another as Simon Armitage continues our series of poets choosing their favourite verses with Ted Hughes's Full Moon and Little Frieda Simon Armitage Tim Maby

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