The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems, By Peter Porter

The late Peter Porter, as selector Sean O'Brien puts in his preface to this generous choice from 19 volumes and half-a-century of wonderfully singular poetry, broke all the rules that Kingsley Amis once set about forbidden topics for verse. Shamelessly, he wrote not just about "other poems and paintings and foreign cities and museums", but operas and sonatas, philosophers and cathedrals, generals and gods; even, in "The Apprentice's Sorceror", of the CERN particle accelerator primed in its "Swiss Hole" to recreate "how the universe began". With shocking Australian cheek, he sauntered into every minefield for a timidly populist age and came back with treasure to be enjoyed by any reader with a nose for new discoveries, an eye for bold connections and an ear for the ever-flexible music of his verse. Yet it's typical that his landmark poem about a cultural icon should address itself not to a painter or thinker but a stuffed animal: the racehorse Phar Lap in the Melbourne Museum, the beastly idol who followed a Classical recipe for greatness: "To live in strength, to excel and die too soon".

Chambers scorches to championship record

Dwain Chambers clocked a championship record 9.99 seconds to win the men's 100 metres at the European Team Championship in Bergen on Saturday. The sprinter held off the Frenchman, Christophe Lemaître, who finished second in 10.02 seconds, and Italy's Emanuele Di Gregorio, third in 10.20, to help Britain into second place in the competition.

Semenya to get gender results today

Caster Semenya is expected to finally learn whether she can resume her athletics career when South Africa's Minister of Sport and Recreation hosts a press conference in Johannesburg today.

Athletics: Ennis's hope of British record washed out but victory proves sweet

Like Neil Finn and Crowded House, Jessica Ennis is on tour in Europe. Unfortunately for the Sheffield heptathlete, she has not brought the weather with her.

Ennis proves she's the big shot now

Sheffield's finest peaks in the Alps and is poised to join an illustrious list of winners today

Dom Joly: You have to dig deep to fall this far

Just back from the annual ordeal that is school sports day. I'm being unfair in some ways: my kids' school is beautiful – lovely grounds, happy children. The problem, as ever, is me, because I suffer from overly competitive parent syndrome.

Ennis in shape to emulate greats

They have been holding the Hypo-Meeting, the annual gathering of the world's best all-round athletes here in this quiet Austrian border town, for 35 years now.

Dom Joly: Jump to it for 2012 'easy' Olympics

Wrestling is for big men who don’t want to be bouncers. Isn't it simply a bar brawl in tights?

Ennis withdraws from Grand Prix to save herself for Doha

While Jessica Ennis has withdrawn from tomorrow's Grand Prix in Birmingham to recover fully from a foot problem in time for the World Indoor Championships next month, a question mark has suddenly emerged about whether Great Britain's other reigning outdoor world champion will be going for gold in Doha next month.

Ennis stuns world champion

Heptathlete ends hurdles specialist's two-year unbeaten run as GB win contest

Jessica Ennis: I'm sitting pretty so I hope Kluft never comes back!

Golden girl had a golden year – culminating in world heptathlon glory – and has begun 2010 with a bang, so she can't wait to captain GB at the start of the indoor season next week. Simon Turnbull speaks to Jessica Ennis

Marion Jones' Sydney medals to be reallocated

Marion Jones' Sydney Olympic individual sprint and long jump medals will be reallocated this week but her 100m gold will not be given to Greece's Katerina Thanou due to her own involvement in doping.

Bolt puts the writing on wall for long jump world record

It was the best of times; it was the wurst of times. OK, so the German cuisine has been nothing about which to write home, but the fare served up over the nine days of the World Championships here has been something to truly savour.

Rutherford fails to make leap to podium

The British athletics team went into the World Championship arena eight days ago with Charles van Commenee, the head coach, telling his 60-strong squad of runners, jumpers and throwers that he wanted to hear "no excuses." "I've told them I don't expect them to use the words injury, pain or niggle," the straight-talking Dutch- man said.

Rutherford ready to strike gold

New British long jump record holder aims to prove he was right not to become a footballer
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?