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The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire review – the essence of a genius

This translation is the best way yet for English speakers to enter the poet’s dream-like world I suspect that in the UK Baudelaire is more nodded to respectfully than actually read. This is a pity,...

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Poetry is a perfect form to challenge human rights abuses

The former director of Liberty explains why she feels poets are able to give such powerful voice to defend against oppression I am on my way to Newcastle. It’s pleasing to note that the city’s...

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How English composers turned minor poems into major works

New titles, altered words, axed stanzas – composers from Elgar to Vaughan Williams brutally reworked the verse they set, and made it immortal The composer Charles Wilfred Orr once said of AE Housman...

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Clive James: ‘I can’t mock Donatella Versace, because I am no stranger to the...

There is the disturbing consideration that, with proper planning, I could have been turning myself into someone better looking At the recent Met Gala in New York, all the stellar people were dressed to...

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The Saturday poem: Inheritance

by Jane Clarke I’d give it all up in a minute,every last rock,stream and sod of it. They can have the price of sheep,the grant for the cattle shed,and the bills from the vet. Continue reading...

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Poetry in English leaves of grass – archive, 16 May 1936

16 May 1936: In May the land is murmurous with the utterance of its own striving to richness That compulsory investment, so well known to the British, a long wet winter pays its ocular dividend in May;...

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Poem of the week: To a Nightingale by RF Langley

With precision-engineered language to match its sharp-focused observation, this is an electric nature poem To a Nightingale Nothing along the road. Butpetals, maybe. Pink behindand white inside....

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'A terrible beauty': US festival reflects on Ireland's Easter Rising 100...

The 1916 Irish rebellion against British rule that in six days left 485 people dead is the cue for a festival of Irish arts and culture in Washington While on the election campaign trail for wife...

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Google AI project writes poetry which could make a Vogon proud

Inspired by thousands of romantic novels, technique creates verse that rivals that of Douglas Adams’s Vogons After its attempts to digest romance novels, one of Google’s artificial intelligence...

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Poetry expresses what it is to be human – it’s therapy for the soul | Adam...

Sharing poetry with young people in a hospital’s secure unit brought home to me how it can help lift us out of our experience and contribute to better mental healthDrive north out of Manchester through...

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Top 10 refugees' stories

The current trauma of displaced people on the move in Europe is nothing new, and accounts of forced migration have been told since the earliest times. These are some of the best There’s a paradox...

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Lakshmi Holmström obituary

Writer and translator who focused on Indian, and specifically Tamil, literature and poetryLakshmi Holmström, who has died of cancer aged 80, was, according to the author Amit Chaudhuri, “the best...

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Kate Tempest: 'There is a damaging and poisonous racism at root in Australia'

British poet delivers passionate speech at Sydney writers’ festival and urges ‘empathy, humility, reparation and change’ There is “a damaging and poisonous racism at root” in Australia, the British...

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'No drugs on the bus': Carol Ann Duffy takes a road trip

The poet laureate is going on tour with her fantasy band: Jackie Kay, Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker. But will they all fit in a Mini? There is, of course, form in this sort of thing: the Beatles’...

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The Saturday poem: The Sundial

by Gillian Clarke Owain was ill today. In the nightHe was delirious, shouting of lions In the sleepless heat. Today, dryAnd pale, he took a paper circle,Laid it on the grass which held itWith curling...

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The 100 best nonfiction books: No 17 – Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965)

The groundbreaking collection of work that established Plath as one of the last century’s most original and gifted poetsWith Birthday Letters (No 4), this series has already identified the...

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Poem of the week: The Ash Plant by Seamus Heaney

Written in memory of his cattle-farming father, this tribute lends him a kind of mythical power as a guide to knowing both life and death The Ash Plant He’ll never rise again but he is ready.Entered...

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Why I chose to attend the Alchemy festival, despite Vedanta's sponsorship

The mining giant’s involvement in the Alchemy festival was shocking – but turning up and talking still seemed right. It’s what writers do The Jaipur literary festival celebrates the freedom to write,...

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Simon Cowell gets star advice on plan to write children's book

After Twitter anger at his disdain for the genre, Michael Rosen and Philip Ardagh both offer tips to the celebrity on how to avoid being boring The award-winning children’s author Philip Ardagh has...

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Frieda Hughes: ‘I felt my parents were stolen’

Frieda Hughes is a painter and poet. She is also the daughter of two giants of the literary world, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, and didn’t read her parents’ poetry until her mid-30sFrieda Hughes is...

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