Life and Style

The website that aims to let users 'annotate the world's text' has launched its first iPhone app following a spat with Google

DAILY POEM: Bluebottle Bella (for Isobel Neil)

Text of this poem cannot be included due to copyright.

DAILY POEM: Safe

Daily Poem: Safe By Hugo Williams Text of poem cannot be included for copyright reasons.

Letters : Initial thoughts on literary tradition

From Mr B. G. Sharp Sir: A pity Miles Kington blemished his otherwise witty review of Christmas books ("How to cook up caviar on a desert island with a pair of royal pains", 13 December) by referring to P. J. O'Rourke bringing back "the fashion for initials which we haven't known since H. G. Wells and T. S. Eliot. Wells died in 1946, Eliot in 1965. Since then, what about A. S. Byatt, P. D. James, V. S. Naipaul, R. K. Narayan, A. N. Wilson and P. G. Wodehouse?

POETRY ESSAY / The art of memory: Poetry enjoys a rising profile, but the poet Clive Wilmer wonders if standards are rising to match -and if aggressive marketing promotes immediacy at the expense of subtlety

A few years ago a friend of mine married a Frenchwoman. Announcing her engagement at work, the lady in question was asked about her future husband's attainments. 'He's a poet,' came the reply. 'Oh?' queried a young receptionist: 'They still exist?'

BOOK REVIEW / Getting verse all day: beware low-flying souls: Next Thursday, 6 October, is designated National Poetry Day. William Scammell considers the idea of a poetfest: a good way of promoting sales, or just a blizzard of hype in a talent-vacuum?

IT USED to be said that the quickest way to clear a room is not to shout 'Fire]' but 'Poetry reading'. This lowering view of those stricken by the muse has always been with us. Coleridge found his contemporaries 'a compost of nullity and dullity'. Randall Jarrell thought most of the stuff that came his way read as though it had been written by a typewriter on a typewriter. Myles nGopaleen's only solution to inadvertent contact with a versifier was to run screaming into the streets and tear off his face.

City & Business: A long time dying

REPORTS of the death of the Net Book Agreement have been greatly exaggerated. The restrictive practice, which prevents retailers discounting newly published books, has been about to expire for at least the last five years.

The Daily Poem: Extract from 'Dan Do Dheirdre'

For copyright reasons we are not able to provide the full text of the poem on this database. Following are the details of the publication in which it appears.

True Gripes: Whisper who dares: Has taxi chatter vanished forever

Where have all the chatty cabbies gone? Illusions I have held since childhood of rabbiting hackney carriage drivers from Ealing Studios films have been shattered because they are simply not talking any more.

GARDENING / A Poet's Garden: On a walk in Old possum's wood: Correction

To arrange a visit to the garden at Burnt Norton, T S Eliot's inspiration (Sunday Review 29 May), please ring John Izod on 0386 840162 and not on the number published.

CLASSICAL MUSIC / Where words fail: Bayan Northcott reflects on the ambiguities behind a new anthology of (nearly) all the non-operatic texts set by Benjamin Britten: Benjamin Britten's Poets - edited by Boris Ford: Carcanet, pounds 25

The surprise is that nobody had thought of it before. Seventeen years after Britten's death, the literature around his life and work has already swelled to vast proportions. The libretti of his operas, for instance, were long since gathered into a single volume with a penetrating preface from Hans Keller. Yet only now has the huge array of non-operatic texts Britten set been collected as an anthology, entitled Benjamin Britten's Poets, edited by Boris Ford and scheduled for publication by the Poetry Press, Carcanet, on 9 June.

MUSIC / Always good for a quote: Nicholas Williams on the many voices of Berio and T S Eliot

Don't quote me on it, but any write-up of a week that included Berio's multi-referential Sinfonia and Eliot's The Waste Land was likely to begin with an allusion.

T S Eliot: the sequel: First that film, now this Waste Land opera based on a comic. No wonder lawyers acting for the Eliot estate are so busy

May is the cruellest month. At least, pedantic admirers of T S Eliot could be forgiven for thinking so, since the blow they took to their collective solar plexus in April, with the cinema release of Tom & Viv, is about to be followed up by a knockout punch to their corporate jaw - the premiere of an unconventional (to put it soothingly) opera version of The Waste Land. This particular Waste Land begins with an assassin's bullet in the night and ends with the gibberish of a drunken old dame and the Bourbon-steeped stoicism of a cheap private detective, name of Chris Marlowe: 'And maybe it was just tough that life isn't like that. Not in this town. On five dollars a day. Plus expenses.' Whatever happened to the Upanishads?

Right of reply / Tom and Viv: the story of TS Eliot and his first wife. Rubbish] says his second. Unfair] says Brian Gilbert

Tom and Viv sets out to film the relationship of TS Eliot and Vivienne Haigh-Wood, their marriage and her confinement to a mental institution. The film prompted a rare interview with Valerie Eliot, in the Independent on Sunday, in which the poet's second wife dismissed the film as being woefully inaccurate. Brian Gilbert, the director, thinks otherwise:

The two Mrs Eliots: Since the death of T S Eliot in 1965, his second wife, Valerie, has been an exemplary literary widow, fiercely guarding her husband's estate and turning the editing of his letters into her life's work. She rarely gives interviews. But the release of Tom & Viv, a glossy film about Eliot and his first wife Vivienne, has prompted her to talk

RECLUSIVE. Gregarious. Obstructive. Vivacious. Calm. Incandescent. The adjectives commonly used about Valerie Eliot can't help but arouse curiosity. Can one person possibly be all these things at the same time, or even at different times? It seems unlikely, but in any case they are not the adjectives that come to mind as Valerie Eliot enters the penthouse boardroom of Faber & Faber's offices in Queen Square. Anxious would be nearer the mark, jumpy, apprehensive. Her nerves are bad today: newspapers have been putting her under increasing pressure to talk - 'Speak . . . Why do you never speak. Speak' - and finally, with gentle encouragement from her publishers, she has agreed to an interview. 'I feel sick,' she says, as John Bodley (who, a fellow Faber editor once teasingly wrote, 'earns his salary / by looking after Valerie') ushers her into a seat and pours her a calming glass of red wine.

What Val has to say about Tom and Viv

VALERIE ELIOT, the widow of the poet T S Eliot, today speaks out for the first time against the portrayal of her husband in the film Tom & Viv, writes Blake Morrison.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own