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More poetry, please?

By Tom Chatfield  

Pronouncing poetry dead is a yearly ritual for literary journalists—and one easily backed up by sales figures which suggest that, if you’re not Seamus Heaney or dead, you’d be better off photocopying pages and handing them out to your relations than trying your luck out on the shelves. But what to make of the bizarre fact that not one but two national newspapers—the Guardian and the Independent—are currently running booklets on great poets as their cover-billed special offers?

Wisdom from our advertising department has it that the coincidence is a ghastly mistake rather than a sinister plot driven by the…

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