Voices

You will look in vain for an ode to broccoli. And that is because broccoli is rubbish

Ryan Adams, O2 Academy, Glasgow

Silence is golden for a perfectionist

The Loss Adjustor, By Aifric Campbell

Experience is no insurance against grief

Lights, camera...type!

As Beat fans await the new Allen Ginsberg biopic, Kevin Jackson recites an elegy for the tragic history of poetry on film

Paul Vallely: A last letter seared in fierce flames

The newly discovered poem by Ted Hughes on the death of his wife Sylvia Plath is a private, raw affair

The Ted Hughes lost poem: Who wants to live forever?

Last Letter has been revealed, but is it what he would have wanted

John Walsh: Hughes's inner turmoil laid bare

Ted Hughes's poem "Last Letter", newly discovered in the British Library, is a shattering piece of work. Not because it's the first piece of writing in which he addressed the circumstances of Sylvia Plath's suicide. Not because it tracks through the last three days of her unhappy life on earth. Not even because it's a great poem, although it has moments of Parnassian brilliance. What makes it an emotionally draining experience is the tension it embodies, between what the angry, distraught, bewildered husband Ted Hughes wants to say about his wife's final hours, and what the cool, judicious, focused poet Ted Hughes will allow himself to say about them for posterity. Wordsworth said poetry was "emotion recollected in tranquillity". I don't believe I've ever read a poem in which emotion was so obviously recollected in anguish and turmoil, barely contained by the formal requirements of line, sense and rhythm.

Leading article: Shock of the new

Those who enjoy "new" works from old artistic masters are being rather spoiled at the moment. This week they have had a previously unpublished poem by Ted Hughes on the death of his wife, Sylvia Plath. Meanwhile, a lost concerto score by Vivaldi has turned up in Scotland.

New Hughes poem tells of Plath death

A previously unpublished poem has been discovered in which the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes recalls the day in which he is told: "Your wife is dead."

Poets' corner: The Foyle Young Poets Award

Andrew Johnson and Jonathan Owen speak to the 15 winners

Library purchases letters offering 'real insight' into poet Ted Hughes

Poems and letters written by former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes which have never been seen in public before have been bought by the British Library.

Between the Sheets, By Lesley McDowell

Lesley McDowell selects nine women writers from the first half of the 20th century, reviews destructive behaviour in their sexual partnerships with male writers, and argues that humiliation and pain in such relationship was and is intrinsic to their achievement. I wondered at her choice of title. She is formidably well-read and must know of Ian McEwan's short-story collection In Between the Sheets. Perhaps, like him, she could not resist the droll literary pun.

School's out for summer: What better time to relax with a few of these classic reads?

Exams are over. A long, hot holiday stretches ahead. There's nothing to do but read for fun, and no set texts for another six weeks. Oh, you lucky, lucky things...

Album: Lucky Soul, A Coming of Age (Ruffa Lane)

Lucky Soul's debut album, The Great Unwanted, was adored by everyone who encountered it.

The poetry of courtship: Plath and Hughes caught on tape

Rare interviews with tragic couple give insight into early days of their marriage

Ted Hughes to join literary elite with Poets' Corner memorial

Former Poet Laureate is to be commemorated alongside Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there