Walt Whitman

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Actor Rip Torn: died aged 88. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Screen and stage star Rip Torn has died at the age of 88. Torn made his reputation in the works of Tennessee Williams and played roles as diverse as (...)

Peter Doyle and Walt Whitman, circa 1869. Photograph: Courtesy of William R. Perkins Library, Duke University, Trent Collection.

Born 200 years ago on Friday, Walt Whitman is now best remembered for his epic poem Leaves of Grass, which if it didn’t invent free verse, was certain(...)

For centuries, lilac has been prized as a cut-flower. Photograph: Richard Johnston

What is it about a lilac in full bloom that so touches the heart? The poet and essayist Walt Whitman called this woody plant’s intensely perfumed flow(...)

Poet Mary Oliver, with her dog Ricky, at her home in Hobe Sound, Florida in 2013. Photograph: Angel Valentine/The New York Times

Mary Oliver, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose work, with its plain language and minute attention to the natural world, drew a wide following while (...)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shaking hands with South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in across the line that divides their countries ahead of their meeting on April 27th. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

As first steps are taken on the road to a peace on the Korean peninsula it is worth remembering that when Jesus spoke about peace he was thinking abou(...)

After a recent column here about the dubious honour of being addressed as “sir” (or even “sore”) in Dublin, several readers reminded me of a passage i(...)

The Vale conservatory at 61 Wellington Road fits seamlessly into the house

If the walls of a property could only talk and recount the events of its lifetime, 61 Wellington Road would have some interesting recollections. Recor(...)

Bob Dylan performing in 1993: he “widened the scope of poetry more successfully than many of the Beat poets”. Photograph: EPA

I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver And I’m reading James Joyce Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice For those still wond(...)

Seán O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony could have a big impact against the All Blacks if they are introduced from the bench. Photograph: Marcus Sheridan/Inpho

O Captain! My Captain! – Walt Whitman’s iconic poem about the untimely demise of American president Abraham Lincoln comes to mind. Oh Captain! My Cap(...)

The biggest faux pas is the complete omission of one of the country’s most successful composers, Jennifer Walshe

Composing the Island is quite simply off the scale when it comes to the celebration of Irish composers. The festival, which will run from September 7(...)

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