Poetry

Spain vs Italy: who would win the wine Test?

11 September 2021 9:00 am

In London, the weather is a gentle sashaying mockery. An Indian summer reminds us of the sullen apology of summer…

Contains moments of spellbinding banality: Radio 4's The Poet Laureate has Gone to his Shed reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

The interview podcast is a genre immoderately drawn to gimmicks, as the logical space of possible formats is gradually exhausted.…

Why shouldn’t we worship the NHS?

14 August 2021 9:00 am

For obvious reasons, stocks in ex-editors of The Spectator are experiencing an all-time low. But my own complaint is with…

A smart take on literary London: Dead Souls, by Sam Riviere, reviewed

12 June 2021 9:00 am

Sam Riviere has established himself as a seriously good poet who doesn’t take himself too seriously: his first collection, 81…

Orcadian cadences: celebrating the reclusive poet George Mackay Brown

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Maggie Fergusson on the reclusive poet George Mackay Brown

What does your wedding reading say about you?

5 June 2021 9:00 am

The pitfalls of choosing a wedding reading

Virgil understood the great power of nature

15 May 2021 9:00 am

‘Georgics’ are an ancient form of poetry about agriculture and the land. The term derives from Greek gê ‘land’ +…

Sun, sex and acid: Thom Gunn in California

1 May 2021 9:00 am

San Francisco is a fantastic place… it’s terribly sunny… I am having a splendid hedonistic time here… I find myself…

My clairvoyant GP

1 May 2021 9:00 am

‘Willie or bum?’ I said to Catriona on the motorway. Everything in my recent medical career has been introduced via…

Two of a kind: Monica Jones proved Philip Larkin’s equal for racism and misogyny

24 April 2021 9:00 am

Monica Jones certainly proved Philip Larkin’s equal for racism and misogyny, says Andrew Motion

My favourite failed podcasts

27 March 2021 9:00 am

The promise of the internet was supposed to be thus: you could be your own bizarre, inappropriate self, and you…

Rescuing Elizabeth Barrett Browning from her wax-doll image

30 January 2021 9:00 am

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an ambitious, passionate, determined woman – not the sad-eyed invalid of legend, says Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Alfred Brendel the Dadaist

16 January 2021 9:00 am

How many people are celebrating the fact that, last week, one of Europe’s most inspired writers about music, modern art…

My fateful appearance at the Bank of England’s Christmas drinks

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Tidings of comfort as the vaccination programme advances, but shortage of joy. That’s my summary of a season in which…

Churches are more Covid-secure than trains or takeaways

7 November 2020 9:00 am

Monday night’s murderous gunman in Vienna is officially described as ‘Islamist’. Brahim Aioussaoi, the man accused of murdering worshippers in…

A beautiful radio adaptation: Radio 4’s The Housing Lark reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Nineteen fifty-six: the Suez crisis, the first Tesco, Jim Laker takes 19 wickets in a match. But also: Trinidadian pianist…

The death of the Southbank Centre

5 September 2020 9:00 am

The roots of the Southbank Centre’s current crisis stretch back to before the pandemic, says Oliver Basciano

Why poetry matters

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Juan Carlos, ex-King of Spain, behaved foolishly in relation to money and sex, and so his decision to leave Spain…

To understand the past, you need to inhabit it for a while

4 July 2020 9:00 am

‘It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds…

From blue to pink: Looking for Eliza, by Leaf Arbuthnot, reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

On the way back from my daily dawn march in the park, I often pass my neighbour, a distinguished gentleman…

From Middlemarch to Mickey Mouse: a short history of The Spectator’s books and arts pages

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

The Spectator arts and books pages have spent 10,000 issues identifying the dominant cultural phenomena of the day and being difficult about them, says Richard Bratby

The best Christmas gift you can give yourself is to learn some poetry by heart

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Every Christmas I find I am living in the past. I blame my father. He was born in 1910 —…

Remembering the genius of Clive James

7 December 2019 9:00 am

‘Clive James Stirs.’ That was the standard subject line for the emails I used to get from the great Australian…

‘Instapoetry’ may be popular, but most of it is terrible

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Poetry is on a hot streak. Last year, sales in the UK topped £12 million for the first time —…

The many faces of William ‘Slasher’ Blake

14 September 2019 9:00 am

‘Imagination is my world.’ So wrote William Blake. His was a world of ‘historical inventions’. Nelson and Lucifer, Pitt and…