Voices

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

Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate: born 1930, died 1998

Horoscope

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.

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
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage