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Clive James: ‘Fixing my maple tree will cost a few bob. I’d write a poem, but...

Even the best poets would be in career trouble without the occasional grant or award My maple tree, about which I wrote a poem saying it would outlive me, is suddenly half dead and soon might be fully...

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The Saturday poem: From the Garden, with the Mushroom

by Ian McMillan What I recall is this; it was autumn,And there had been an eclipse during whichI stood with my dad in the garden And we watched as the street grew darkerThan it should have, than it...

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The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence review – beyond normal

Selima Hill’s latest collection draws on the experience of psychiatric patients, metamorphic animals and erotic encounters in search of inner freedomSelima Hill begins her new book with a flourish: To...

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Poem of the Week: Combat Gnosticism by Ian Duhig

This quiet, wry poem reflects on the unique, incommunicable knowledge that comes with service in conflict Combat Gnosticism Campbell’s term for war writing bornof a gnosis only being there can earn:I...

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Is Rushdie right about rote learning? Is Rushdie right about rote learning?

Salman Rushdie thinks schoolchildren should learn poems by heart, and some experts think that, far from making kids hate poetry, the practice could be ‘life-enhancing’ What can you recite by heart?...

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Yale English students call for end of focus on white male writers

Undergraduates press for compulsory course on canonical poets to be ‘decolonised’ Undergraduates at Yale University have launched a petition calling on the English department to abolish a core course...

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Poster poems: buildings

From Louis MacNeice at the British Library to Elizabeth Bishop’s Filling Station, some poets are good at recording life’s often unnoticed settings. What do you see? There can at times be a tendency to...

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Cuts-hit Poetry Book Society to close

Organisation founded by TS Eliot to ‘propagate the art of poetry’ will hand over activities after losing struggle to survive following axing of ACE funding Founded more than 60 years ago by TS Eliot...

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Graceful quick-step of the grey wagtail

Trawsfynydd,Gwynedd, Wales They are constantly in motion, dancing out of the gorge in undulating flight Pont y Llyn Du on the Afon Gain, in the lonely moors east of Trawsfynydd, above the old gold...

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The Saturday poem: An Easy Day for a Lady

by Helen Mort “The Grepon has disappeared. Of course, there are stillsome rocks standing there, but as a climb no longerexists. Now that it has been done by two women alone,no self-respecting man can...

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The Poetry Book Society is moving, not closing | Letter from Ian Grant,...

The headline (Cuts-hit Poetry Book Society to close, 3 June) and some passages in your online article about the Poetry Book Society gave completely the wrong impression of the PBS’s situation. The...

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Poem of the week: Of a Poynted Diamond … by John Harington

A gift from Elizabeth I’s ‘saucy godson’ to his wife brings lusty and sparky life to the epigram form Of a Poynted Diamond given by the Author to his Wife, at the Birth of his Eldest Son Deare, I to...

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Frederick Seidel: ‘It's necessary to criticise the left’

New York’s ‘Kanye Baudelaire’ talks to Lorin Stein about Donald Trump, departed friends and why a life without writing is pointless Frederick Seidel is no one’s idea of a protest poet. Born in a...

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Rumi film will challenge Muslim stereotypes, says Gladiator writer

David Franzoni, who wrote script for 2000 film starring Russell Crowe, to pen biopic on 13th-century Muslim poet and scholar An Oscar-winning screenwriter has agreed to work on a biopic about the...

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Poetry and music are more closely related than we think

From punk to poem-songs, the 2016 Poetry and Lyrics festival reveals how music fits into the poetic tradition The Welsh word “cerdd” can be translated as either “verse” or “music”. It covers both...

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Memorising poetry is an art of the heart | Christina Patterson

Learn the great verse of the past, and it will be with you when you’re sad, joyful – or just jumping into a hot bath“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my sense.” This is what I thought when I...

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Translation Tuesday: All the Countries of the World by Krisztina Tóth

A subtle exploration of how we deal with grief, in a poem by one of Hungary’s most celebrated writers By Krisztina Tóth and Peter Sherwood for Translation Tuesdays by Asymptote, part of the Guardian...

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Harry Potter play exposes the social apartheid in our theatre | Peter Bradshaw

Unlike the democratic experience of the Potter movies, it seems only the smug rich can afford tickets for the stage playTickets are on sale for the new London West End stage show Harry Potter and the...

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Edinburgh international book festival reveals 'bold, creative' lineup

Jonathan Safran Foer, Judith Kerr and Gordon Brown are among the scheduled appearances, which the event’s director says will be ‘about creative ideas and imagining a better world’ More than 800...

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When Muhammad Ali took a blow below the belt | Brief letters

Sports Direct | Brexit | Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali | Memorising poetry | BHS collapseIt would appear that we wouldn’t need to leave the EU to lose our hard-won rights for workers (This is a...

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