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The Saturday Poem: Great Sporting Moments, vol IV

by Alan Jenkins A brace of goals that I was meant to score,Aged ten - how else can I explain them? Taken on the runOr on the turn, from outside the eighteen-yard box. The last-minute try that means we...

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Farewell words and music reflect a patriotic austerity and insularity

In life, Thatcher commanded a philistine government disdainful of culture. In death, she returns to the Lincolnshire of her beginnings: flat, provincial and boring Margaret Hilda Roberts, the...

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Poem of the week: The Overcoat by Peter McDonald

An atmospheric winter train ride connects the present to the past, and a father's experience to his son's The title of this week's poem, Peter McDonald's "The Overcoat" inevitably recalls Gogol's...

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Mark Rylance stars in self-penned play

Actor opens his adaptation of Louis Jenkins's Nice Fish poems in Minneapolis, in which two ice fishermen contemplate life, dogs and lost watches Mark Rylance, one of British theatre's biggest stars,...

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Who is Ozymandias? And Other Puzzles in Poetry by John Fuller – review

Fuller's solutions to poetry's puzzles may be infuriatingly complex, but they do tell us about the way in which poets work This is, in some ways, an extremely infuriating book, one rather removed from...

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Bryan Heiser obituary

My husband, Bryan Heiser, who has died of polio aged 67, spent most of his adult life fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged and, through the poetry he wrote, highlighting life's subtle twists...

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The Saturday poem: Great-great-

by Alison Brackenbury I own your desk, Eliza, with your story,the black-spined Bible with your flourished entry.Your husband, our last farmer, dead at fortytook off the farm of crooked apple trees,...

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Pluto by Glyn Maxwell – review

Jewelled poetic craft joins something more profound in Maxwell's new collection – which darkly conjures unconscious process, writes Ruth Padel Pluto is a companion volume to Glyn Maxwell's brilliant...

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Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts – review

A major new collection of 'super-sonnets' demonstrates the poet's amazing talent for putting intimacy on paper A drysalter was a trader in salts, chemicals and dyes and these poems seem steeped in a...

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Poem of the week: Night and Morning by Robert Browning

Two perspectives on either side of a nocturnal liaison make up a strikingly contrasting diptych This week's choice is an intriguing diptych by Robert Browning. "Meeting at Night" and "Parting at...

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Patrick Garland obituary

Director and writer celebrated for his work at Chichester Festival theatre and the BBC The career of Patrick Garland, who has died aged 78, was as varied as it was productive. An actor, producer,...

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Anthony Thwaite on Patrick Garland: 'He was an excellent reader of poetry'

Patrick Garland began as a poet and was an excellent reader of poetry. He published poems in John Lehmann's London Magazine and in one of those annual PEN poetry anthologies while he was still in his...

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Allen Ginsberg interview: From the archive, 24 April 1985

Behind the jacket and tie, the poet-prophet of the 50s and 60s has lost none of his radical fury The Beat Generation's International Visionary, whose Howl in the mid-1950s was heard across astonished...

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Leo Hollis's top 10 books about cities

Urban life isn't all overcrowding and air pollution – Leo Hollis finds some glowing tributes among his top tales of the city, from ancient Rome to modern Manhattan Since the age of Gilgamesh, the...

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The Word on the Street by Paul Muldoon – review

Muldoon's exploration of the connection between poetry and song results in pieces that fall somewhere between the two Here we go, one more time, with feeling – the old song/poetry debate comes roaring...

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Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne was first world war propagandist

Writer was anti-war but new discovery shows he was drafted by military intelligence service MI7b, shut down in 1918 AA Milne famously denounced war in his pacifist essay Peace with Honour, but...

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I set my teenage daughter a computer curfew

Jane Thynne felt concerned that her 13-year-old daughter was spending so much time online or texting that she had no time to think her own thoughts. So she banned all electronic screens from her...

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WARP, Book One: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer – review

Colfer's tale of FBI secrecy and time travel in London is delightful, compelling and assured Some people think that if a work of art is commercially successful, then it can't be of high quality....

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Olive Senior: 'Literature is political because we are political animals'

Should literature be political? Politics shapes us all, but creative writers must transform the world around them, argues Olive Senior in a speech delivered at the Bocas Literature Festival in...

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Poem of the week: Hymn of Hymns by John Rodker

Rodker's eclectic denunciation of religion's repressions, written after the first world war, is funny and unexpectedly sympathetic Don't believe the title of this week's poem. "Hymn of Hymns," by John...

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