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Just a quick heads up this week towards something that’s worth picking up a copy of: the Radio Times. Yes, the Radio Times, because its Christmas Bumper edition contains a specially commissioned poem by Carol Ann Duffy. In my opinion, Duffy has made a fantastic start to her post as poet laureate, with her selection of contemporary war poetry one of the best things I read in 2009’s newspaper pages. The poem in the Radio Times is a variation of the twelve days of Christmas, and although it’s pretty serious in tone, what’s Christmas without a little bit of sober consideration for those suffering in the world around us? I think Dickens (to whom, let’s face it, we owe the whole idea of the social Christmas spirit) would be proud. If you really don’t want to know what’s on the telly, you can also read the poem online here.
Litro is spending the winter celebrating the literature of Brazil, and I’m going to attempt to catch up with that next week. I’d really love to write something about Brazilian folk tales or fairy stories, but my efforts to find some have so far only led me to two books of tales repackaged for English-speaking readers in 1917. As such, they’ve been injected with all kinds of horrid ideologies of their time, and I’d rather forget all about them. I’m sure there are more representative, neater works out there, so this is a kind of a call to arms, as it were, to anybody reading this who might know some Brazilian folklore. If that’s you, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.