The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

by

I have a dark and dreadful secret. I write poetry... I believe poetry is a primal impulse within all of us. I believe we are all capable of it and furthermore that a small, often ignored corner of us positively yearns to try it.
—Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled

Stephen Fry believes that if one can speak and read English, one can write poetry. Many of us have never been taught to read or write poetry and think of it as a mysterious and intimidating form. Or, if we have been taught, we remember uncomfortable silence when an English teacher invited the class to "respond" to a poem. In The Ode Less Travelled, Fry sets out to correct this problem by giving aspiring poets the tools and confidence they need to write poetry for pleasure.

Fry is a wonderfully engaging teacher and writer of poetry himself, and he explains the various elements of poetry in simple terms, without condescension. His enjoyable exercises and witty insights introduce the concepts of Metre, Rhyme, Form, Diction, and Poetics. Aspiring poets will learn to write a sonnet, on ode, a villanelle, a ballad, and a haiku, among others. Along the way, he introduces us to poets we've heard of, but never read. The Ode Less Travelled is a lively celebration of poetry that makes even the most reluctant reader want to pick up a pencil and give it a try. BACKCOVER: Advanced Praise:
“Delightfully erudite, charming and soundly pedagogical guide to poetic form… Fry has created an invaluable and highly enjoyable reference book.”
Publishers Weekly

“A smart, sane and entertaining return to the basics… If you like Fry’s comic manner… this book has a lot of charm… People entirely fresh to the subject could do worse than stick with his cheerful leadership.”
The Telegraph (UK)

“…intelligent and informative, a worthy enterprise well executed.”
Observer (UK)

"If you learn how to write a sonnet, and Fry shows you how, you may or may not make a poem. But you will unlock the stored wisdom of the form itself."
—Grey Gowrie, The Spectator (UK)

“…intelligent and informative, a worthy enterprise well executed.”
Observer (UK)

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Title:The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781592402489
Format Type:PDF | Epub | Mobi | iBook

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    The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within Reviews

  • Jensbookshelf

    review will not be impartial, because I love Stephen Fry. I want to marry his brain. If he published his grocery list, I would buy it. I suspect I would enjoy it as well. Anyway, The Ode Less Travell...

  • Ryan

    It's not you Fry it's me.I have always had the desire to love poetry. I've always felt like it was within my grasp but never quite there. If I'm honest after reading the reviews, I was hoping Fry was ...

  • Rebecca

    The only -- and I do mean the only -- negative thing I can say about this book is that Stephen Fry has taken the run-on sentence to pathological levels. The occasional grammatical slip-up hardly warra...

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Fry cleverly drags out the reading of this book by forcing the reader to take a vow to read all the poems aloud and to do all the exercises in the book. I did well until I came to the next-to-last cha...

  • Katia Nosenko

    This is the book by Stephen Fry which is intended to help the reader to start writing poems. In my case, I wanted to understand better how the poetry in English actually works. I love poetry. But I ca...

  • Raoul

    The first few chapters are great. The author is just as entertaining, witty, and charming as you would imagine. The use of the iambic pentameter is set out clearly and concisely. This section got me w...

  • Carrie

    Not, perhaps, quite so detailed as I would have liked. However, it is written with all the wit, clarity and charming-ness that one has come to expect of Mr Fry. And it is beautifully presented. I part...

  • Keerthi Purushothaman

    The book on prosody I did not realise I needed. In the land of free verse, what weight does form hold?I liked his lines on how nobody would give someone a piano and ask them to "express themselves" by...

  • Becky Lowndes

    I learned so much from this book, so entertainingly presented...It was one of those books, like Nine Gates by Jane Hirshfield, that I could have turned around and just started reading again, immediate...

  • Lisa Bower

    If you write poetry for pleasure this book is easy to read and will suffice. Do not take it as gospel as the theory is patchy and in some cases incorrect. Not a good book for students. (Except for the...