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
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum