Category Archives: Poetry

Going round in circles

I woke up yesterday morning with this Schumann song in my head: I’d known Hugo Wolf’s setting of Mörike’s text since my teens, but had only discovered Schumann’s during a compare-and-contrast exercise in my final year at Oxford. (Thank you, … Continue reading

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The perils of the written word

Having (as you may have noticed) indulged in a surfeit of bloggery during the last couple of weeks, I’ve realised there is a problem with the written word. Two, actually. It’s a well-known fact that when someone is talking to … Continue reading

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Living from the heart

Every once in a while I read a book that seems in some way to be describing me, and seems somehow to understand me better than I do myself. The latest is The Shack by William P. Young. The Shack … Continue reading

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“…that thing indoors each one dwells”

You had to be there, they said. And I was. Last Sunday night I was at the Royal Festival Hall, listening to forty women–poets and performers–reading Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. It is not an experience I will forget in a hurry: … Continue reading

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The single eye

I have recently befriended a rather superb teacher of English, who chooses quite deliberately to teach war poetry in the summer. Not for her the narrow confines of the November window, with its poppy-wreathed procession of Owen and Sassoon. No, she … Continue reading

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Minister announces bold initiative

Owing to the current Economic climate There is a glut of words. We are left with no choice.  We must Make challenging efficiency savings To reduce our expenditure of vocabulary To sustainable levels. In order to help us To achieve … Continue reading

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Portrait of the artist as a young introvert

Sixty-seven years ago this month, an RAF Mosquito on patrol over the Thames was ordered to intercept an incoming V1 flying bomb. It never returned. Its pilot, Fred Kemp, left behind a wife and three young children. Its navigator, James … Continue reading

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The way the wind blows

The first Power of Language essay of 2011 is from Paul House, author of Harbour and Common Places, discussing imagery and metaphor. A cursory glance at today’s artistic scene will show you just how widespread mediocrity is and how well … Continue reading

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The November Window

In honour of Armistice Day this week, we offer the following guest essay by Louise Galvin. Poetry is for teenage girls, goths and people with Labradors.  Isn’t it?  In the world beyond this screen I don’t know anyone who admits … Continue reading

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Obsessive love in verse – and of verse

Today’s contribution is from guest blogger Drew Cross. Poetry is amongst the best ways of closely articulating the complexities of the human emotional experience. It can be fluent and flowing or fractured and hesitant, a soothing caress or a jarring … Continue reading

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