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The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet…
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The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within (original 2005; edition 2007)

by Stephen Fry

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1,557214,707 (4.03)39
Member:fakelvis
Title:The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
Authors:Stephen Fry
Info:Arrow (2007), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 384 pages
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The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry (2005)

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» See also 39 mentions

English (20)  Italian (1)  All (21)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I try to get outside my comfort zone sometimes and I got this a couple of years ago to do just that but didn't get too far. I was told ...by several people...that I had to read it out loud. So...it languished for a while. Then I found out that Stephen Fry read it himself for an audiobook. I'll listen to lecture series, but audiobooks are not my thing.

Until this one. I read along with Mr. Fry. I loved his voice and he really made his words come alive. For a book on poetry, his prose was better than any poem I have ever read. And he gets into such technicalities! "iamb, the trochee, the pyrrhic, and the spondee [...] anapest and the dactyl, the molossus, the tribach, the amphibrach and the amphimacer"...sounds like a biology lesson.

He doesn't spend much time on "free verse", which is what I really need explained to me - rhymeless, meterless words are...well...not poems. But that's my failing.

I learned a lot (apart from the entire subject, "ullage" is not a word I encounter in casual reading!) Hearing him read while I read along was eminently helpful. I don't intend to write anything as he suggests, beyond my sometimes witty and sometimes just groaning limericks, and I don't know how much I'll read, but I do think I'll return to this again. ( )
  Razinha | May 14, 2018 |
This was a pleasurable listen, and might be a pleasurable read. I wish I had Fry for an English teacher. But then, my teachers weren't that bad. Well, I am not sure about the didactic value or presentational consistence or something of that kind concerning the book in question, but I did immensely enjoy the way Fry told me about all the things I had actually already known. And this is akin to the point he explicitly makes regarding his own poetry, his is too well-known, too "noisy" to be judged objectively as a poet. It is a very enjoyable listen, and might be an enjoyable read. What with all the exercises and all. ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
Have you ever tried to write poetry? It's not as easy as it looks - even free blank verse, in most hands, sounds silly, while a good poet can shake you to your core. Nevertheless, I keep trying to write poetry, hoping that someday I'll accidentally manage something that's actually good. I picked up The Ode Less Travelled to see if there's anything useful I've been missing, and wow, have I been missing a lot.

Stephen Fry isn't a poet - he's an actor, comedian, and occasional novelist - but he writes poetry for fun, and thinks other people should try it, too. In aid of this, he explains poetical metre (everything's spelled in British English in this book, although Fry also gives the Americanisms), rhyme, form, and criticism, along with giving extremely useful and interesting exercises for you to try. As he says, you probably won't become an award-winning poet just by reading this book, but you will be able to amuse yourself with a creative hobby, much like sketching with words. And if all you're interested in is understanding poetry a little better, this would also be a useful read, as it's much more entertaining than any "Introduction to Poetry" I've ever read before. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Aug 18, 2017 |
Ode too much for me -- but I can see the potential ( )
  Brumby18 | Aug 25, 2016 |
A very witty introduction to what could have been a very dry topic. Fry takes us through the various types of poems and gets very, very technical. At no point did it feel forced, tedious or like an English class. ( )
  martensgirl | Dec 25, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Fryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sanderson, BillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." -- William Arthur Ward
Dedication
For Rory Stuart, a good, superior and great teacher.
First words
I have a dark and dreadful secret.
Quotations
You can never read a poem too slowly, but you can certainly read one too fast.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099509342, Paperback)

Stephen Fry’S The Ode Less Travelled provides us with a witty and entertaining guide to the mysteries of writing poetry.

Stephen Fry has always had a secret passion for poetry and he reveals this in this book about how to write poetry. This book will give everybody the tools to write poetry; covering the full spectrum of the different poetic forms, structures and techniques. According to Stephen it will make writing poetry fun, easy, satisfying, fulfilling and delightful.

Here is a taste of Stephen’s own efforts;

Lesbian Sappho made this form
With two beats to the final line
Her sex life wasn’t quite the norm
And nor is mine



From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The best-selling novelist, actor, and comedian offers a witty guide to writing and understanding poetry, providing an entertaining series of exercises, insights, and step-by-step advice that introduces the concepts of metre, rhyme, form, diction, and poetics; and explores the various forms of poetry, including haiku, ballad, and sonnet, among others.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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