Like most sensible people, I've always hated poetry. A form of writing for people who want to say nothing, pretentiously. There's a reason why it's the format of choice for self-harming Livejournal teens and Andrew Dice Clay, right?
But equally I've always had a nagging doubt that I might be missing something. That if I could just bring myself to learn some of the theory behind the form, I might unlock the gates to some magical world of art and beauty. This book is for people like me.
Written by writer, raconteur and former comedy partner of Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, 'The Ode Less Travelled' is somewhere between a text book, a poetry anthology and a joke book - taking readers by the nose and explaining all of the major poetic forms, and encouraging them to try their own hand. My results were mixed at best (hello Livejournal teens!) but I did come out of the other end feeling smarter and more culturally literate, which is always a nice way to end a book.
Review summary Feels right to write as haiku Poet? You know it.
Whether writing poetry is curse or gift, the cat is out of the bag: the most unexpected people write poetry. It is Stephen Fry's intention to unveil the mystery, which he does with enthusiasm in chapters addressing Metre, Rhyme, Form, and Diction and Poetics Today, a daunting task by any measure; Fry approaches his topic with an attention to the details that often overwhelm would-be poets, for example the unusual jargon and technical vocabulary that accompanies a serious … more