Mar 3, 2013

eBook Review – The Ode Less Travelled – Unlocking the Poet Within


One perhaps does not automatically think of poetry when mentioning Stephen Fry, he is after all famous for his comedy and television appearances and as a bit of an ubergeek.  But as he mentions in The Ode Less Travelled , Fry harbours a dark secret, a love of writing poetry and not the sort of poetry one might associate, with his rather modern technophile persona ie post-modern.

No, Fry is a fan of what might better be described as “traditional” poetry, works constrained or supported by form, metre and rhyme. Fry argues that its these qualities that give him enjoyment far more than modern free verse which he has described as anemic.

This book aims to give you the basic understanding of the technical aspects of traditional poetry and to encourage you to experiment even if it is only for personal pleasure.

It contains observations examples and exercises, all delivered with typical Fry humour.  And contains I think one of the best exercises I have come across for “getting your ear in” in terms of iambic pentameter.

Poetry can be seen as both elitist and a little bit embarrassing and Fry works hard to get us to shuck these silly self imposed restraints on our creativity.  How can writing poetry be any worse than pottering in the garden, or any other number of hobbies that we get great joy from.

I enjoyed and treasure this book so much that I intend to hunt down a hardcopy.

This book was borrowed through the South Australian ebook library

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