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What are the best poems about football? | The Knowledge

Plus: Zinedine Zidane and Cameroon feature in another slew of songs about specific games Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU “Are there many good poems about football?” wrote M Stapleton...

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Poem of the week: The Sparrows of Butyrka by Irina Ratushinskaya

The Soviet-era dissident writer’s defiant prison lyric has lost none of its immediacy The Sparrows of Butyrka Now even the snow has grown sad –Let overwhelmed reason go,And let’s smoke our cigarettes...

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In conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah and George the Poet - podcast

Benjamin Zephaniah and George the Poet aretwo of Britain’s most successful contemporary poets. They discuss why, despite being born a generation apart, their work is still exposing racial injustice...

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The power of touch: Coordinates – a poem by Maria Popova

‘I watched the blood spill / its perfect pomegranate seeds / into the aluminium spaceship / of the kitchen sink ...’ Welcome to the Guardian’s Power of Touch series I still wonder why the knife was in...

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The power of touch: Haunted – a poem by Dael Orlandersmith

‘Never been one much for skin on skin / or / never much cared for the skin I live in / but / NOW / The mind rolls back’ Welcome to the Guardian’s Power of Touch series I’ve never really been one for...

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The power of touch: Once, in November – a poem by Anis Mojgani

‘Your hand to my face / thumb upon my cheek / palm cupping my jaw / touching my skin like a silk to dress yourself in’ Welcome to the Guardian’s Power of Touch series You get into the shower and ask...

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Revealed: how a Parisian sex worker stole the heart of poet EE Cummings

Previously unseen letters show that the wartime romance was much more than a casual fling, and may even have inspired the American’s later works He was one of the 20th century’s most famous American...

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In brief: The Family Clause; Anti-Social; My Name Is Why – review

A Swedish family at war, tales from the Asbo frontline, and an affecting memoir of brutality and hope The Family ClauseJonas Hassen KhemiriHarvill Secker, £16.99, pp320 A man dreads the arrival of his...

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Ivor Novello awards 2020: Dave, Kate Tempest and Stormzy among nominees

Behind-the-scenes talents Dan Carey, Jimmy Napes and Jamie Hartman join Kate Tempest with a pair of nominations each in UK songwriting awards Race, sex, and self-worth are some of the topics explored...

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Poem of the week: On First Knowing You’re a Teacher by Peter Kahn

The classroom’s unpredictable demands provide surprisingly poetical inspiration On First Knowing You’re a Teacher Robert’s not coming in, my boss tells me.I’m sitting sweating in a windowless office,a...

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'Nature was etched in Britten's music': the birdwatching composer

Mixing Britten’s folksongs with poetry and soundscapes, soprano Marci Meth took inspiration from the composer himself to create an album inspired by and embedded in the countryside that he loved...

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Four-year-old lands book deal for his 'astonishing' poetry

Nadim Shamma-Sourgen’s words, evoking a ‘whole world full of hugs’, were spotted by the writer Kate Clanchy and will be published next summer Keats’s first book of poetry was published when he was 21;...

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Dmitri Smirnov obituary

Russian composer drawn to the words and images of William Blake who made Britain his home for three decadesThe composer Dmitri Smirnov, who has died aged 71 of Covid-19, had a deep affinity with the...

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Poem of the week: If I Were to Meet by Grace Nichols

Imagining an impossible encounter with herself as a child, the poet discreetly evokes the girl’s intense life If I Were to Meet If I were to meet the ghostof my childhood runningwith slipping...

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Covid-19 response is a matter of politics | Letter

Michael Rosen on the serious consequences of the government’s poor handling of the pandemic Your article (Lack of testing and PPE among key England Covid-19 mistakes, MPs told, 24 July) confirms that...

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Lana Del Rey's poetry debut review – sometimes cliche, always solipsistic

Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, released as an audiobook this week and in print in September, is a reminder of the singer’s strengths and shortcomings Lana Del Rey has a decided aesthetic: a...

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Lana Del Rey: Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass review – poetry debut with...

(Interscope) The singer’s first audiobook-with-music shows skill but suffers from flowery wordplay This being Lana Del Rey, the title track of her poetry-audiobook-with-music suggests some sordid...

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Poem of the week: Long Time a Child by Hartley Coleridge

Melancholy but without self-pity, this sonnet self-portrait is one of the finest of the Romantic period Long Time a Child Long time a child, and still a child, when years Had painted manhood on my...

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Poetry book of the month: How to Fly by Barbara Kingsolver – review

The novelist teaches lessons in miniature in this deft and entertaining collection Whenever a novelist takes flight into poetry, one has, however unreasonably, misgivings – based on a received,...

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Making poetry optional in GCSE English literature is out of tune with the times

Ofqual’s ruling comes at a time when more children than ever are reading and writing verse Ofqual, the exams authority, has announced that next year schools won’t have to do all the components of...

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