mon 24/01/2022

poetry

Anselm Kiefer Pour Paul Celan, Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris review - an installation of rare profundity

The exhibitions of the German artist Anselm Kiefer have always been spectacular: large works with a numinous presence, often breath-taking and always mysterious. His new installation in Paris’s Grand Palais Ephémère, the temporary structure at the...

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The Holiness of Sex: Leonard Cohen's Biblical Theology

On hearing that I had recently written a book about Leonard Cohen, someone asked me why I thought Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature rather than Cohen. Not being a Nobel prize adjudicator I couldn’t answer the question but I did...

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The Dante Project, Royal Ballet review - a towering achievement

Unless you happen to be a student of Italian language or culture, the significance of the 14th-century poet Dante Alighieri’s insights into the human condition may have passed you by, albeit that this year marks 700 years since his death. Where...

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Metamorphoses, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - punchy, cleverly reworked classic

Ovid was exiled – or to put it in twenty-first century terms, "no-platformed" – by an indignant Emperor Augustus for the scandal caused by his three-book elegy on love, Ars Amatoria. Most scholars believe the intrigue behind his banishment to be...

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Patti Smith, Royal Albert Hall review - a wild ride from a musical legend

Patti Smith has been making rabble rousing punk rock for half a century. She’s spent a lifetime on the road with rock stars and poets, surfing the charts, bringing music and wisdom to the people in myriad ways from beatnik to mainstream and now here...

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Samantha Walton: Everybody Needs Beauty review - the well of the world

In the opening poem of Samantha Walton's 2018 collection, Self Heal, the speaker is on the tube, that evergreen metaphor of capital's specific barrelling momentum. The tube "will help you see yourself properly for once, all the way through",...

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Live is Alive!, Brighton Festival 2021 review - local talent makes for snappy return to gig-land

The idea live music is back is worth shouting about. Indeed, the BBC News has been doing just that about this gig. In reality, though, while it’s a joy to be out (this is my first major venue concert for a year-and-a-half), Live is Alive is a...

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DVD: T S Eliot - The Search for Happiness

“How it went with the women,” Martin Amis’s phrase for what most straight men are likely to contemplate in the evenings of their lives, would have made an ideal alternative subtitle for the 50-minute documentary T S Eliot: The Search for Happiness....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Allen Ginsberg - At Reed College: The First Recorded Reading of Howl & Other Poems

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix.” The opening words of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl are ingrained. First published in the...

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Album: Cerys Matthews, Hidden Orchestra & 10 Poets - We Come From The Sun

In such a somnolent time We Come From The Sun is an awakening – the immediacy and presence of poetry urging you to listen, and pay attention to the beauty of now. For her latest album Cerys Matthews selected 10 poets to record their work and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: poet laureate Simon Armitage on landscapes, libraries, home and edgelands

Simon Armitage is a poet at the top of his game: in his second year as poet laureate, he has given voice to the experiences of lockdown. In March, he released his collection Magnetic Field: The Marsden Poems, a return to the childhood village in...

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Album: Charles Webster - Decision Time

Charles Webster is one of those connecting figures who make the idea of “the underground” seem quite convincing. Originally from the Peak District but coming of musical age in Nottingham, he was inspired by Chicago house and Detroit techno music...

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