Poetry

A middle-aged man in crisis: How to Make a Bomb, by Rupert Thomson, reviewed

25 May 2024 9:00 am

Travelling home from an academic conference, Philip Notman suddenly feels sick and disorientated. But it will take a long time for him to identify the cause, and possible cure

Exploring the glorious literary heritage of Bengal

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Bengalis are renowned for their love of discussion and argument, and a new collection of short stories reflects this passion for cultured conversation

Four female writers at the court of Elizabeth I

27 April 2024 9:00 am

Of Ramie Targoff’s gifted quartet, Mary Sidney was particularly admired by her contemporaries for her translation of the Psalms into English verse

Emily Dickinson was not such a recluse after all

27 April 2024 9:00 am

Far from being closeted in her bedroom, her letters show that she was still travelling in her mid-thirties, and taking pleasure in gardening and the glories of nature

The healing power of Grasmere

23 March 2024 9:00 am

Following in Wordsworth’s footsteps, Esther Rutter finds new self-confidence and happiness in the entrancing surroundings of Dove Cottage

Flaubert, snow, poverty, rhythm … the random musings of Anne Carson

17 February 2024 9:00 am

It is thrillingly difficult to keep one’s balance in Carson’s topsy-turvy world as she meditates on a wide range of subjects in poetry, pictures and prose

The real problem with ChatGPT is that it can never make a joke

25 November 2023 9:00 am

When Andy Stanton commands the AI program to tell him a story about a blue whale with a tiny penis, the result, as it unfolds, drives him a bit insane

An obituarist’s search for the soul

16 September 2023 9:00 am

Snatches of memoir, poetry and observation from a writer whose main preoccupation is recording the lives of others

The changing face of Ireland

2 September 2023 9:00 am

A dead poet’s dangerous aura continues to haunt his daughter and 23-year old granddaughter in this story of an unhappy family set in rapidly changing Ireland

Tangled threads

19 August 2023 9:00 am

The painted-over figure of Baudelaire’s muse eventually emerging from Courbet’s great canvas provides one of many haunting images in this complex novel

The illiterate poet who produced the world’s greatest epic

12 August 2023 9:00 am

With its carefully calibrated sense of time, the Iliad is clearly the work of a single man and not a ‘rolling snowball’ of different contributions, argues Robin Lane Fox

The making of a poet: Wilfred Owen’s ‘autobiography’ in letters

5 August 2023 9:00 am

How, between 1911 and 1917, Owen became the dazzling poet we know and love is the story told in Jane Potter’s new edition of his selected letters

The lonely passions of Emily Hale and Mary Trevelyan

8 October 2022 9:00 am

Tom Williams describes how two women’s hopes of marrying T.S. Eliot came to nothing

In the footsteps of the Romantic poets

27 August 2022 9:00 am

Shelley, walking as a boy through his ‘starlight wood’, looking for ghosts and filled with ‘hopes of high talk with…

A poet finds home in a patch of nettles

6 August 2022 9:00 am

Towards the end of a long relationship – ‘resolved to have a conversation about the Future, which meant Separating’ –…

The sad, extraordinary life of Basil Bunting

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Funny old life, eh? Small world, etc. In one of those curious, Alan Bennett-y, believe-it-or-not-but-I-once-delivered-meat-to-the mother-in-law-of-T.S.-Eliot-type coincidences, it turns out…

Hearing Percy Bysshe Shelley read aloud was a revelation

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Last week I heard the actor Julian Sands give a virtuoso performance of work by Percy Bysshe Shelley to mark…

‘That little venal borough’: a poet’s jaundiced view of Aldeburgh

25 June 2022 9:00 am

‘To talk about Crabbe is to talk about England,’ E.M. Forster declared in a radio broadcast in May 1941, but…

Letters: Who’s responsible for Putin’s rise if not Russians?

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Russian misrule Sir: Your editorial (‘Sanction Schroder’, 21 May) laments that western sanctions may be harming ordinary Russians, given that…

Is T.S. Eliot’s great aura fading?

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Cracks are beginning to appear in T.S. Eliot’s once unassailable reputation, says Philip Hensher

Quietly devastating: Benediction reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Terence Davies’s Benediction is a biopic of the first world war poet Siegfried Sassoon told with great feeling and tenderness.…

The nightmare of making films about poets

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Craig Raine on the challenges of translating poets’ lives and work to the screen

A pure original: the inventive genius of John Donne

16 April 2022 9:00 am

John Donne sounds like nobody else, and his poems invite us to feel that we might know him, says Daniel Swift

Bono's 'poem' was an insult to the craft of verse

21 March 2022 6:00 pm

‘Poet’, said Robert Frost, ‘is a praise-word’. So it is. That explains in part the unabashed delight with which Colm…