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Poetry Days

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Will Gompertz | 10:20 UK time, Thursday, 7 October 2010

National Poetry Day is today, although yesterday tried hard to steal the show with news of the publication (in today's New Statesman) of Last Letter, a previously-unseen Ted Hughes poem that makes a significant addition to his Birthday Letters volume of poetic letters about his relationship with and marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath, which I covered on last night's BBC news.

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And anyway, the people behind National Poetry Day made their own tactical announcement the evening before with the award of the £10,000 Forward Poetry Prize (both the prize and NPD were conceived by the William Sieghart), which this year went to Seamus Heaney for his collection of stroke-inspired poems, Human Chains.

So it seems a good time to mention Torture, the remarkable poem by the 87-year-old Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, who was the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1996; this year's winner will be announced at lunchtime today.


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