Poetry

Czesław Miłosz in Paris in 2001

Czeslaw Milosz’s highly acclaimed poetry does little for Craig Raine

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Milan Kundera’s novel Immortality wryly depicts Goethe preparing for immortality — neatly laying out his life in Dichtung und Warheit…

My father the bigamous sociopath — by Molly Brodak

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Molly Brodak, a fair, young Polish-American born in Michigan, is a winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. Iowa: that hotbed…

Amusing, surprising, diverting and uplifting portrait of John Betjeman at Theatre Royal

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Sand in the Sandwiches is the perfect show for those who feel the West End should be an intellectual funfair.…

My father, the gun-toting Catholic priest

27 May 2017 9:00 am

This is one of the most remarkable, hilarious, jaw-droppingly candid and affecting memoirs I have read for some time —…

Every Easter, I think of the artist and poet David Jones

15 April 2017 9:00 am

Each Easter, I think of David Jones (1895-1974). He was a distinguished painter and, I would (though unqualified) say, a…

The Mountains of Parnassus: Czeslaw Milosz’s curious sci-fi experiment

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Science fiction is not the first thing one thinks of in connection with the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, though the…

Cynthia Nixon is terrific as Emily Dickinson: A Quiet Passion reviewed

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Films can be poetry — or like poetry; or poetic, at least — but can poetry ever be film? That…

Self-portrait

David Jones – the 20th century’s great neglected genius

1 April 2017 9:00 am

When Stravinsky visited David Jones in his cold Harrow bedsit, he came away saying, ‘I have been in the presence…

Why Milton still matters

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Paradise Lost can still speak to readers on its 350th anniversary – even if its champions sometimes seem to lose faith

Burgundies that taste of T.S. Eliot

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Eliot. After 50 years trying to make sense of his verse, and at the risk of admitting to rampant philistinism,…

Ezra Pound as a young man

Was Ezra Pound mad?

18 February 2017 9:00 am

On 21 December 1945, Ezra Pound was confined to St Elizabeths hospital in Washington DC. He had broadcast for Rome…

On the waterfront: The Deep, Hull

How Hull won me over

4 February 2017 9:00 am

James Walton finds a lot to love about this year’s City of Culture – even on a bleak January weekend

An exquisite, opulent bore: Death Takes a Holiday at Charing Cross Theatre reviewed

4 February 2017 9:00 am

It could be the nuttiest idea ever. The protagonist of this American musical is Death, who secretly reprieves a beautiful…

Josette Day and Jean Marias in La Belle et La Bête, one of Cocteau’s most visually stunning films

Jean Cocteau: confessions of an opium addict

7 January 2017 9:00 am

All biography is both an act of homage and a labour of dissection, and all biographers are jealous of their…

Global radio is now available at the swipe of a fingernail – yet it all sounds the same

7 January 2017 9:00 am

A new website, radio.garden, lets us browse radio stations across the globe. Nothing new about that. That’s been a key…

One thing I learned in 2016 – it’s hateful being right all the time

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Merry Christmas everyone. Here are some things I learned — or relearned — in 2016.   1. That which does…

John Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, 1972

Scholar, entertainer, poet, hoarder: the many faces of my father Johnny Cash

10 December 2016 9:00 am

John Carter Cash reflects on the many faces of Johnny Cash: scholar, entertainer, poet, hoarder

What it's like to be a reindeer herder and other tales from the Arctic Circle

10 December 2016 9:00 am

In this season of watching and waiting as we approach Christmas and year’s end, radio has a precious role. At…

The only way wasn’t Wessex

19 November 2016 9:00 am

The ten pallbearers at Thomas Hardy’s funeral in Westminster Abbey on 16 January 1928 included Kipling, Barrie, Housman, Gosse, Galsworthy,…

An Orgreave inquiry would have turned history into a trial

5 November 2016 9:00 am

It is a great relief that there will be no inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ in 1984. The weirdness…

Rabih Alameddine’s desperate protagonist is plagued by Death, the Devil and the ashes of former lovers

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Shades of The Master and Margarita haunt Rabih Alameddine’s sixth book, in which Jacob, a Yemeni-born poet with a day…

Kate Tempest's poetry is simply no good

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Kate Tempest, a 30 year old dramatist and poet, has an appeal that’s hard to fathom. Is it all in…

Niche: an English word that turned into a French one

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Jonathan Swift, in his satirical poem ‘An Epistle to a Lady’, says modestly: ‘If I can but fill my Nitch,/…

What you learn when you learn a poem by heart

10 September 2016 9:00 am

I’ve just learned by heart another poem — my first in nearly 30 years. The one I chose was A.E.…

Gale-force lyricism from Iceland’s most poetic novelist

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Centuries before their footballers learned giant-slaying ways, Icelanders knew how to startle the world with tall stories. In the moonscape…