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Articles on Poetry

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Both governments and community organizations promote Robert Burns suppers. Here, an official United Kingdom government photo shows the haggis brought in at the British Prime Minister’s residence, Jan. 22, 2018. (Number 10/Flickr)

How new and ‘auld’ acquaintances are celebrating Scotland’s national bard on Robbie Burns Day

Both Burns and the suppers that celebrate him have proven remarkably malleable symbols worldwide of the Scottish nation and Scottish hospitality.
Six Tuscan Poets by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Petrarch, Cino da Pistoia, Guittone d'Arezzo and Guido Cavalcanti are depicted in the oil painting. Wikimedia/MIA

How a lost manuscript revealed the first poets of Italian literature

The history of Italian literature cannot be understood without the vernacular poets. But their works were largely unknown until Lorenzo ‘the Magnificent’ sent a gift to the Prince of Naples.
Dispatch rider with pigeons leaving for firing line, His Majesty’s Pigeon Service, November 1917, location unknown. (William Rider-Rider. Canada. Department of National Defence. Library and Archives Canada, PA-002034)

First World War poet Wilfred Owen, treated for shell shock, carried readers into the horror of war

British poet Wilfred Owen told readers there is no peace for the dying soldier until we fight against the lie that it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country.
Cylinder seal (left) and modern impression (right) showing two people drinking beer through long straws. Khafajeh, Iraq (Early Dynastic period, c. 2600–2350 B.C.). Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Brewing Mesopotamian beer brings a sip of this vibrant ancient drinking culture back to life

Beer was extremely popular in ancient Mesopotamia. Sipped through straws, it differed from today’s beer and was enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

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