Review: "The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within" by Stephen Fry.


Arrow Books GBP £7:18

Star Rating 5/5

Unlike many primers on formal verse this book is firmly rooted in praxis. The poet learns to craft her poetry by experience, through Fry’s carefully graded tasks that lead the novice poet through most of the main poetry forms, with plenty of room for exploration. Never dull, patronising or dumbed down, Fry’s work is surprisingly accessible. This is the book you wish you’d had during your high school English. This is the book you wish had been available during your first semester in poetry at college. Fry likens the book to a ‘How to paint’ or ‘How to play the guitar’ primer and so it is, but this little book is so much more. What’s amazing about it is that you will develop through the act of writing poetry — rather than responding to it — a fuller appreciation of metrical, beating heart of the English Language. We’ve used it. We’ve loved it. We recommend it to everyone. How different would your view of traditional poetry be if Oscar Wilde had been your English teacher? With this volume, we can get some idea.

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