Life and Style

The international puzzle that requires knowledge of steganography, Aleister Crowley and the darknet is back again, and the internet is just as confused

The Making of a Sonnet, Ed. Edward Hirsch & Eavan Boland

Only 14 lines long (but sometimes not), divided just past the half-way line (but sometimes not), rhyming to a few fixed schemes (but sometimes not), the sonnet has for 700 years allowed poets to redesign a small but infinite room.

A Night Out with Robert Burns: The greatest poems, ed Andrew O'Hagan

In his introduction to "A Man's a man for a' that", Andrew O'Hagan proclaims Burns "the world's greatest and most loveable poet". You could make a case for the latter adjective, but not, I submit, the former. At all. However, these are fighting words for a fighting poet.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/11/today-in-poli-6.html">Today in Politics: Stick to the economy, stupid</a>



An unusual session of Prime Minister's Questions today. We all expected it to be dominated by the economy, after another set of gloomy unemployment figures this morning and the Bank of England's warning that the economy could contract by 2 per cent next year

Paperback: Cryers Hill, by Kitty Aldridge

There's a near-pagan vibe to Kitty Aldridge's second novel that most of us won't have come across since the fourth form and Laurie Lee. Set in a village in the Chilterns, the novel's dual narrative switches between the stories of two country boys living 35 years apart: Sean, a schoolboy in 1969, and Walter, who in 1934 is nearly old enough to wear a suit. While Sean struggles with language he's being taught a revolutionary new reading scheme back in the more literate Thirties, Walter yearns to be a poet. The two stories ingeniously connect in a novel that rusticates both language and landscape to startling effect.

Leading article: A bid for the higher ground

Liberal Democrat policy chiefs seem to have identified two major areas where their party has an image problem: crime and tax. Their response to the crime issue has so far been disappointing. Sir Menzies Campbell's recent call for longer sentences was a text book lurch to the right that lacked credibility coming from a party that has, rightly, eschewed such populism in the past.

Without Title, by Geoffrey Hill

O Hendrix, player of neumes

101 Poems About Childhood edited by Michael Donaghy

Legacy of a poet who understood the evolution of a child's mind

A day for a poet, but you may not know it

Today is National Poetry Day, a chance to reflect on an art that seldom makes headlines, but regularly enriches the private moments of countless readers. The writers below won the prestigious Forward prizes, awarded annually to mark the event. To celebrate their honourable calling, The Independent commissioned its own resident poet, Martin Newell, to write in praise of the art itself

Stanley Burnshaw

Poet, novelist, critic, translator and publisher

George & Rue, by George Elliott Clarke

Destitution, depravity and racial division in post-war Canada

Anna Of All The Russias: The Life Of Anna Akhmatova, by Elaine Feinstein

Russian, a poet, and better than beautiful
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

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Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice