Cover stories: The poetry of Rumsfeld, Politico's, Lines in the Sand

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The Independent Culture

* How many of us, watching Donald Rumsfeld's constipated features these last weeks, have noticed anything poetic about what comes out of his mouth? An American, Hart Seely, has. "Rumsfeld's poetry is paradoxical: it uses playful language to address the most sombre subjects ... His work, with its dedication to the fractured rhythms of the ... vernacular, is reminiscent of William Carlos Williams." Discuss. Seely has convinced the Free Press (does Rumsfeld do irony?), who will publish a collection of his words.

* The Future of Politico's, the Westminster bookshop which celebrated its 10th birthday last year, appears to be in doubt following the sale of its publishing interests to Methuen. The list, launched five years ago, has punched above its weight, with authors such as Michael Foot and Peter Mandelson, but founders lain Dale and John Simmons felt the only way to grow was through a sale. Matters were complicated by Dale's search for a Conservative seat, though life as a Tory might appear even riskier than as a bookseller-publisher.

* Even at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, war made an impact. Frances Lincoln unveiled an anthology from mother-and-daughter team Mary Hoffman and Rhiannon Lassiter. Lines in the Sand: new writing about war and peace will be produced within six weeks. All profits will be donated to Unicef.