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

Why Hughes broke silence

ADMIRERS of the poet Sylvia Plath expressed surprise yesterday at the revelation that the poet laureate Ted Hughes has written a series of confessional poems about his relationship with his late wife.

Arts: Hughes breaks silence with secret poems to Sylvia Plath

The Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, today breaks his silence over the life and suicide of his first wife, Sylvia Plath, with a volume of poems that few knew existed. Clare Garner reports on the poetic account of his days with Plath.

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Murray Kempton, who is now dead but always seemed mythical, was a gentle and learned man who believed, like his early employer H.L. Mencken, that the purpose of a newspaper was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, writes Rhoda Koenig [further to the obituary by Peter Pringle, 7 May].

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I'm afraid Mr Philip Hensher rather let his misogyny get the better of him in his recent review of Hermione Lee's new biography of Virginia Woolf in the Spectator. Although, poor dear, one can understand he was under some strain, since reading the book has clearly been a long exercise - 900 pages - in discovering things he didn't want to know. Like what Woolf was wearing when she first met Madge Garland (something that looked like "an upturned wastepaper basket on her head"), when she had her ears pierced and "God help us, what she used for sanitary towels."

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33 years on, a new book by Sylvia Plath

THIRTY-three years after her suicide, Sylvia Plath's publishers are trumpeting a "new" book by the controversial poet. The It Doesn't Matter Suit, a children's story found among the poet's papers at the Lilly Library in Indiana University, has created a buzz of excitement among publishers around the world.

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The story goes that Madonna's debut gig in London was snubbed by most of the journalists who now claim to have been in attendance. So let me get in here quick: I was at the first British show of the 20-year- old Canadian singer Alanis Morissette last week. The connection isn't entirely spurious - Morissette has been signed up by the Queen of Pop for her record label, Maverick. And she, too, is fast gaining notoriety more for her provocative nature than her music: the risque lyrics to her song "You Oughta Know" - "Is she perverted like me?/ Would she go down on you in a theatre?" - precede her everywhere, not least when she feels like taking in a show.
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