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Black Rainbow review poetry in a moving account of depression

A journalist and mother charts her descent into illness and the slow rebuilding of her shattered selfOne horror of depression is how walled-in it makes the sufferer feel. Advice from outside can seem...

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Stevie review Zoë Wanamaker brings Smith's poetry alive

Minerva, ChichesterLike the man in her most famous poem, Not Waving but Drowning, Wanamaker's Stevie Smith is all covert signalsShe stands before us, stooping slightly, in a shapeless red pinafore like...

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Poem of the week: Gulling Sonnet VI by Sir John Davies

Subtlety of expression and mischievous humour are the twin hallmarks of Davies' ironic evocation of a wardrobe for CupidThis week, in the sixth of a series of what he termed Gulling Sonnets, an eminent...

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Quiz: 6 May in books: a day you remember?

It might not seem to be a remarkable day, but down the centuries it amounts to a busy day in literature. How far does your memory stretch? Continue reading...

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TS Eliot's Ash Wednesday a call to spiritual awareness that falls short | Roz...

As with Dante, this is a poem in which the visions of hell are stronger than the visions of heavenAmong the first fruits of TS Eliot's conversion were the first three parts of the poem that he ended up...

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Nina Cassian obituary

Romanian poet exiled to New York who wrote about childhood, ageing, freedom and, above all, loveThe poet Nina Cassian, who has died of a heart attack aged 89 in New York her home since she gave up...

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Putin's ban: let's hear it for swearing!

The Russian president wants to censor bad language in plays, films and books. Irvine Welsh and others tell Alison Flood why this is a dreadful ideaIrvine Welsh isn't pleased. The author who has three...

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Waitrose teams up with McGough in the hope verses will open purses

Poet hopes displaying work throughout branches of the retailer will show poetry 'can be at home on the supermarket shelf'Waitrose is to unleash an unlikely weapon in the supermarkets' cut-throat battle...

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Simon Armitage on rewriting Homer: Lily Cole's Helen 'is an Iraqi supergun'

His play The Last Days of Troy stars a supermodel, explores Iraq and considers the sexual excitement of war. It's a risk worth taking, says Simon ArmitageIn the poet Simon Armitage's new play, The Last...

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Philip Larkin special train marks 50th birthday of Whitsun Weddings poem

Bill Nighy will read poetry as actors fill journey from Hull to London with stories and music, as prelude to 2017 UK city of culture eventsIn The Whitsun Weddings, one of the best loved poems of the...

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Native Realm: A Search for Self-Definition by Czesaw Miosz review

Reissued as a Penguin Classic, this is a timely meditation on homeland and what it means to be born in the eastThe Lithuanian poet Czesaw Miosz (1911-2004) said this book, translated by Catherine S...

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The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013 review

This selection of Walcott's poetry, edited by Glyn Maxwell, is a reminder of the celebratory texture of the Nobel laureate's workAt more than 600 pages, this new selection from 15 collections over 65...

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Black magician Aleister Crowley's early gay verse comes to light

Notebook of poems written by heartbroken occultist in 1898 to be exhibited at antiquarian book fair in LondonIn 1898 the Wickedest Man in the World was feeling thoroughly sorry for himself. The...

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Why performance is the embodiment of poetry | Michael Rosen

The Turner prize judges understand the thrill of the spoken word. I had to learn it from 400 primary school childrenIt's not been a great week in the world of language and literature for those who want...

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The Saturday Poem: hesiod

by Cees NooteboomAncient poet, touched by the Muses themselves,so you claimed at least,with a branch of laurel, or was that just boasting? Continue reading...

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Larkin's Whitsun Weddings celebrated with 50th-anniversary train ride

Poet's fans to take commemorative Hull-to-London trip, complete with readings, jazz and costumed actorsIt was the train journey that inspired one of Philip Larkin's best-known poems. Half a century...

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Poem of the week: Anne Cluysenaar's Diary Poems

Two entries from a poet's calendar use similar forms and language to engage with matters very grand and very smallAnne Cluysenaar's recent collection, Touching Distances: Diary Poems is a poet's...

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With the Four Quartets, TS Eliot's poetic powers trump his mysticism | Roz...

We may find the spirituality of this great work questionable, but the humanity behind it and his continuing brilliance, is notEliot at his best is one of the greatest of poets, but it is impossible to...

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Scottish war poetry fights for both sides in the independence battle

A century on from the first world war, its poetry sheds intriguing light on the questions of nationhood awaiting an answer in this autumn's referendumFor readers of English verse, the term "war poetry"...

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New Simon Armitage poem fights pollution literally

Giant roadside display of In Praise of Air is printed on pollutant-absorbing material that works as an air purifierA new poem from Simon Armitage is setting out to do more than merely tug at the...

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