Arts and Entertainment The loss of happiness: Giacomo Leopardi

This extraordinary 'mish-mash' opens up the creative workshop of Italy's great Romantic poet

Classical Review: Mr Preview celebrates in style

LSO/ANDRE PREVIN BARBICAN LONDON

Britten's spring awakening

Neither symphony nor song-cycle, Benjamin Britten's most idiosyncratic achievement is a major landmark.

Classical: In league with the prince of darkness

STRAVINSKY SERIES

Does modern Britain really need a Poet Laureate?

THE RATE for the job was fixed in 1692 at pounds 100 per year. No one has managed a pay rise since. In the lists of the Royal Household, it features alongside the Swan Marker, the Bargemaster, and the Keeper of the Royal Stamp Collection. It has a cast-iron record for inspiring duff ceremonial verse from major poets - when, by chance or design, major poets happen to win the post.

Obituary: T. Arfon Williams

IF WELSH poetry is a closed book to most English readers, with but a few honourable exceptions, it is not only because the poet in Wales has had a function different from that of his counterpart in England but also because for the last thousand years Welsh poetry has been written in a prosody so complex that John Cowper Powys was once prompted to remark that the people among whom he had made his home were "the most conservative, the most introverted, the most mysterious nation that has ever existed outside China".

'Kirchstetten, receive an honoured guest'

WH Auden died 25 years ago this week. In Britain we hardly noticed. But in Austria they paid their respects. By Simon O'Hagan

Obituary: Iain Crichton Smith

WHEN BBC Scotland TV lunchtime news, after dire remarks about the national football team's latest performance, came up with a well-compiled tribute to Iain Crichton Smith, one didn't know whether to laugh or cry. There he was, the portentously but deceptively rueful downturn of the mouth, the especially complete and candid baldness, but craggier than one remembered somehow, turning into a monument. But, as the rather strange phrase has it, there was "no side" to him.

Words: analeptic, adj. or n.

STRANGE THE way that the mind works. Some of us cannot hear the pop of the cork being released from a bottle without the word analeptic springing to mind. Such is poetry.

Literary Notes: Politics in a different conceptual context

EXPECTING AUDEN to be a kind of political poet has sometimes confounded his readers, who find they have to search quite hard for direct comments on public events. Can it be that the poet who by his own admission barely opened a newspaper until he was 23 was, after all, someone to whom general ideas remained more attractive than particular ones; private mental events taking precedence over public ones? No indeed, but his trick is to put the political into a different conceptual context altogether, in order to make us really think about it.

D H Lawrence must stay in US, say family

Rachelle Thackray on a row over repatriating the author's ashes

Choice: Talk

A Celebration of Kenneth Patchen, Tate Gallery, SW1 (0171-887 8922) 6.30pm

Choice: Opera: Paul Bunyan, Shaftesbury Theatre

Paul Bunyan, Shaftesbury Theatre, London

Theatre: Housman: a very private lad

Tom Stoppard's new play pries deep into the life of AE Housman, secretive author of A Shropshire Lad. It could be the making of the poet's reputation, writes Michael Glover

Diana - The Last Farewell: In search of a fitting elegy for `a private face in a public place'

As the banks of flowers have risen outside the palace gates, another kind of tribute has been mounting on my desk all week. Any glance at the memorial columns of a local paper will prove that, whatever their background, people will still turn to poetry to express their deepest, most troubling feelings.

Vice and verse

Richard D North, gets caught in the crossfire of poetry and petunias in Ledbury
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links