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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee