The Ode Less Travelled

The Ode Less Travelled : A guide to writing poetry

4.06 (3,458 ratings by Goodreads)
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If you can speak and read English, you can write poetry.

The trick is knowing where to start. Stephen Fry, who has long written poems, and indeed has written long poems, for his own private pleasure, invites you to discover the incomparable delights of metre, rhyme and verse forms.

Whether you want to write a Petrarchan sonnet for your lover's birthday, an epithalamion for your sister's wedding or a villanelle excoriating the government's housing policy, The Ode Less Travelled will give you the tools and the confidence to do so.

Brimful of enjoyable exercises, witty insights and simple step-by-step advice, The Ode Less Travelled guides the reader towards mastery and confidence in the Mother of the Arts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 266g
  • Arrow Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0099509342
  • 9780099509349
  • 70,881

Review Text

A smart, sane and entertaining return to basics
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Review quote

Fry's extraordinary book is an idiots' guide to the writing of poetry, a primer, a tutorial with funny turns, an earnest textbook... You can't but marvel at Fry's easy familiarity with the rictameter and the rondeau redouble and applaud the energy of his evangelistic zeal * Independent on Sunday * With his usual wit and occasional obscenity, he takes us through an array of metrical forms and poetic structures, talking to us like a cajoling hearty teacher * Sunday Telegraph * Intelligent and informative, a worthy enterprise well executed * Observer * A smart, sane and entertaining return to basics * Daily Telegraph * Funny and instructive * Spectator *
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About Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry is an award-winning comedian, actor, presenter and director. He rose to fame alongside Hugh Laurie in A Bit of Fry and Laurie (which he co-wrote with Laurie) and Jeeves and Wooster, and was unforgettable as General Melchett in Blackadder. He has hosted over 180 episodes of QI, and has narrated all seven of the Harry Potter novels for the audiobook recordings. He is the bestselling author of four novels - The Stars' Tennis Balls, Making History, The Hippopotamus and The Liar - as well as three volumes of autobiography - Moab is My Washpot, The Fry Chronicles and More Fool Me. Mythos and Heroes, his retelling of the Greek myths, are both Sunday Times bestsellers.
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Rating details

3,458 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 36% (1,233)
4 40% (1,392)
3 19% (670)
2 4% (125)
1 1% (38)

Our customer reviews

Stephen Fry gives us a carefully considered cursus through the various poetical forms in this precious book. There are poetic exercises to complete and discussion of the whys and wherefores of how different poetic meters function and how you can use them. The use is clearly intended for the enthusiast, but I think this book would serve well as the basis for a course in creative poetic writing in an academic setting. Of particular help, I've found, is the glossary - which provides such a rich panoply of wonderful terms to explore like the "hemistich" found in Anglo-Saxon poetry. These can keep you going for days. Brilliant - highly recommended alongside Fenton's "An Introduction to English Poetry"; if you had both books, I think you'd have all your bases covered for creative poetic more
by Nigel McBain
For someone like me, who previously knew next to nothing about the mechanics of poetry this was an incredibly informative and insightful delve into that nebulous realm of literature we call poetry. Fry's writing is sublime and pithy as it should be and it even comes with some tasks to help you create your own poems from metre to rhyme. Note. This is a book about the mechanics of poetry and not the appreciation of poetry. More like a textbook than a more
by Mark Albert George Hanson
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