Voices

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

Ted Hughes: 1930 - 1998 The god of granite who could shatter stones with plain words

MY FIRST, and most recent, exposure to the flinty and percussive rhythms of Ted Hughes's verse both came in settings a world away from the classroom or the armchair. This morning, that point deserves some stress. For this often secretive and embattled man did more than anyone since Tennyson to give great English verse a deep public presence. His impact in the air and on the tongue far outweighs the formal honours symbolised by his accession to the thankless role of Poet Laureate in 1984.

The hawk who held `creation in a weightless quiet'

With his first four books, Hughes changed British poetry, shooting into it a new charge of energy

Books: Praying for the end of King Arthur's grumpy reign

Patricia Craig experiences the long, painful goodbye of a northern Alf Garnett and wonders when, if ever, a restricted life loses its value

Ted Hughes wins pounds 10,000 poetry prize

TED HUGHES, the Poet Laureate, continued his marvellous year last night when his book Birthday Letters won the pounds 10,000 Forward Prize for the best collection of 1998.

First poems published by Plath's daughter

THE DAUGHTER of poet laureate Ted Hughes and the tortured, controversial genius Sylvia Plath, is to follow in her parents' footsteps by publishing her first volume of poems.

Books: Inspirations Novelist and Journalist James Hamilton-Paterson

I can't begin to fathom this column's usual list of categories, having never in my life been inspired by anybody's play, painting, film or book. It is not other people's works that provide the germ or impetus, unless they are so bad (like Tippett's librettos or X's poems) that one half-dreams of re-writing them out of sheer exasperation. The promise of a cheque, or the threat of a deadline, are more potent for the flow of ideas than any amount of grand influences or aspirational flummery.

Theatre: Staging a protest

In my salad days, when I was green in judgement (as Cleopatra, with whom I am oft compared, once remarked), I once acted in a show in Edinburgh. Blame it on my (misspent) youth. The salient point here is not my erstwhile career but the location and the timing of the production in question. This August event took place in April, ie out of Festival time.

What all the best-dressed corpses will be wearing

Death is no excuse for bad dress sense.

The human condition: Here comes trouble

After Prozac Nation comes Bitch, Elizabeth Wurtzel's hymn to bolshy womanhood. Hettie Judah meets a girl who has turned provocation into a lifestyle, not to mention a career

In the news: Meg Ryan - Sweet Meg gets serious with agony of Sylvia Plath

Saccharine Hollywood star battles against image to play tortured poet

Comfort reading

You've tried chocolate (too fattening), analysis (too expensive) and gin (never again). But better than any of these if you're feeling wretched is a course of cheering literature. Hester Lacey asks some readers and writers for their prescriptions

Leading Article: In defence of unhappiness

BEING an MP leads to higher levels of physical and emotional stress, researchers have found. Well, knock us down with a ballot paper. It is a commonplace that you have got to be pretty strange to want to be an MP, and what are academic researchers for if not for dressing up the commonplace?

Ted Hughes scores hat-trick of awards

The Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, yesterday completed an extraordinary comeback when his Tales from Ovid picked up the 40th W H Smith Literary Award, worth pounds 10,000, writes Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor.

I can't stand Sylvia Plath's poetry, but you should hear her comic material

Brian Walden attracted a flurry of publicity the other day by saying the unsayable - that is, for saying that he thought Nelson Mandela was not a wholly admirable person. The late Enoch Powell will be remembered, poor chap, entirely for saying the unsayable on one single occasion, even though it is paradoxical that such a scholarly, academic chap should have caught the public fancy entirely in the character of a fiery racialist. Prince Charles caught the attention of the public by saying the unsayable about modern architecture.

Backroom talent has a muse

Vanessa Thorpe on Faber's secret weapon
Sport
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Sport
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice