Articles on Poetry

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To imagine is to form a mental image, to think, believe, dream, picture. Shutterstock

How creativity can help us cultivate moral imagination

The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley believed that we can exercise our moral imagination 'in the same manner as exercise strengthens a limb'. Here, then, are some tips for fostering empathy through art.
A plaque on a house in St Petersburg that says: ‘Here the writer Lydia Korneievna Chukovskaya wrote Sophia Petrovna, a story about the Great Terror 1936-1938’. Wikimedia Commons

Hidden women of history: Lydia Chukovskaya, editor, writer, heroic friend

Persecuted by Stalin, writers Lydia Chukovskaya and Anna Akhmatova endured threats, cold and starvation. And in an epic feat, Lydia memorised the poems of her friend that were too dangerous to commit to paper.
Kahlil Gibran, The Divine World (1923), Illustration for The Prophet, Charcoal. Gibran Museum

Guide To The Classics: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

After Shakespeare and Laozi, Kahlil Gibran is the highest selling poet ever, largely thanks to The Prophet, a set of 26 prose poems.
For centuries, Pulter’s manuscript lay untouched at the University of Leeds’ Brotherton Library. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32

In the 1600s Hester Pulter wondered, ‘Why must I forever be confined?’ – now her poems are online for all to see

In a time when women were expected to be silent, no topic was off limits for Pulter, who penned verses about politics, science and loss. Her manuscript was just published in a free digital archive.
A display of acrobatics by German internees at the prisoner of war camp at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire in October 1914. Imperial War Museum/Wikimedia

A glimmer of light amidst the darkness: honour in the First World War

During First World War, the rhetoric of chivalry counteracted the inhumanity of the conflict in sometimes surprising ways.
David Malouf’s poetry collection An Open Book spans “a Beurre Bosch pear/in a fruit bowl to the planet”. Shutterstock

David Malouf’s An Open Book is poetry to sit with

Malouf's late return to poetry seems to bring him back in a new way to steadying poems that do justice to the open gaze, the sly wit, the swift imagination and the poise he has in spades.
While watching this weekend’s AFL Grand Final between West Coast and Collingwood, listen out for ‘action’ and ‘digression’ in the commentary. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Why AFL commentary works the same way as Iron Age epic poetry

Like epic poets, AFL commentators improvise in short phrases, not sentences, because it creates vivid images of fast action.
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, attributed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1555. Rosemary Dobson addressed the painting in her poem Painter of Antwerp. Wikimedia

Guide to the Classics: the poetry of Rosemary Dobson

Across her long career, Dobson was celebrated as a poet who could take the reader beyond the immediate image to another insight.

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