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Poetry

Civic life

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The power of Langston Hughes’s ‘melancholy citizenship’

Langston Hughes’s poetry offers a guide to the sort of melancholy citizenship that can help us weather democratic heartbreak

by Robert L Tsai

Poetry

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Emily Dickinson and the creative ‘solitude of space’

For the poet Emily Dickinson, sequester was a feminist act of independence: it gave her mental and literal space to write

by Magdalena Ostas

Poetry

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How poetry casts a spell through the rhythmic magic of metre

Poetry meets the raw needs of our most vulnerable selves in a primal way, with a simple tool: predictable, rhythmic metre

by Annie Finch

Poetry

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Sufi love poetry is in vogue, but few grasp its radical meaning

The Sufi path to love in the poetry of Rumi and ‘Iraqi styles the body as a bridge to the divine in deeply erotic ways

by Matthew Thomas Miller

Poetry

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The meaning of cowardly dogs and other puzzles of Arabic poetry

In classical Arabic poetry, beauty and wonder lie in the logical unravelling of a metaphor, rather than plot or character

by Lara Harb

Music

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Bach’s piano music is intimate precision and Homeric epic in one

A hero on a journey; a circular movement; a melancholy of homecoming: why Bach is an epic poet in the Homeric tradition

by Dan Moller

Stories and literature

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There is nothing so deep as the gleaming surface of the aphorism

The aphorism has been a way to express strong feelings without placing emotional demands on the listener

by Noreen Masud

Friendship

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Horace’s lyrics of friendship offer hope to our troubled world

In the poetics of Horace, friendship is the best way to seek the good life even in the midst of crises beyond our control

by Stephanie McCarter