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Friday poem: 'There are many things I ought to do'

Friday poem: 'There are many things I ought to do'

There's a 'graceful sufficiency' to this poem. At very first glance it seems to be concerned primarily with objects – plants, notebooks, stamps, a window sill – but on second looking, these objects might relate to a way of thinking, of being. The language of the poem seems to luxuriate in itself (take the gorgeous precision of 'velvet pointillism') while also pointing to a particular way of being in the world.

Writing the book that didn't exist: conversations with great British songwriters

Writing the book that didn't exist: conversations with great British songwriters

Fifteen years ago while in a bookshop on the Charing Cross Road it suddenly occurred to me that I wanted to read about the writing habits of the country's great songwriters. It was a book which did not exist. I clinically guillotined a lifetime of musicianship, shut away my Fender Telecaster, and set out to write the book I most wanted to read. This is a snapshot of what I learnt while writing Isle of Noises.

The best personal ads ever. EVER.

The best personal ads ever. EVER.

These really need no introduction, other than to say they are a compendium of the oh-so-carefully crafted personal ads from the London Review of Books and far more entertaining than match.com.

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