The Ode Less Travelled

Unlocking the Poet Within
Fry, Stephen (Book - 2006 rinting)
Average Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
The Ode Less Travelled
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I have a dark and dreadful secret. I write poetry... I believe poetry is a primal impulse within all of us. I believe we are all capable of it and furthermore that a small, often ignored corner of us positively yearns to try it. —Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled Stephen Fry believes that if one can speak and read English, one can write poetry. Many of us have never been taught to read or write poetry and think of it as a mysterious and intimidating form. Or, if we have been taught, we remember uncomfortable silence when an English teacher invited the class to "respond" to a poem. In The Ode Less Travelled, Fry sets out to correct this problem by giving aspiring poets the tools and confidence they need to write poetry for pleasure.Fry is a wonderfully engaging teacher and writer of poetry himself, and he explains the various elements of poetry in simple terms, without condescension. His enjoyable exercises and witty insights introduce the concepts of Metre, Rhyme, Form, Diction, and Poetics. Aspiring poets will learn to write a sonnet, on ode, a villanelle, a ballad, and a haiku, among others. Along the way, he introduces us to poets we've heard of, but never read. The Ode Less Travelledis a lively celebration of poetry that makes even the most reluctant reader want to pick up a pencil and give it a try. BACKCOVER: Advanced Praise: “Delightfully erudite, charming and soundly pedagogical guide to poetic form… Fry has created an invaluable and highly enjoyable reference book.” —Publishers Weekly “A smart, sane and entertaining return to the basics… If you like Fry’s comic manner… this book has a lot of charm… People entirely fresh to the subject could do worse than stick with his cheerful leadership.” —The Telegraph(UK) “…intelligent and informative, a worthy enterprise well executed.” —Observer(UK) "If you learn how to write a sonnet, and Fry shows you how, you may or may not make a poem. But you will unlock the stored wisdom of the form itself." —Grey Gowrie, The Spectator(UK) “…intelligent and informative, a worthy enterprise well executed.” —Observer(UK)
Authors: Fry, Stephen, 1957-
Title: The ode less travelled
unlocking the poet within
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, 2006 printing
Characteristics: xxv, 357 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Notes: "First published in Great Britain in 2005 by Hutchinson"--T.p. verso
Contents: pt. 1. Metre.
How we speak ; Meet metre ; The great iamb ; The iambic pentameter
End-stopping, enjambment and caesura ; Weak endings, trochaic and pyrhhic substitutions ; Substitutions
More metres : four beats to the line ; Mixed feet
Ternary feet : the dactyl, the molossus and tribrach, the amphibrach, the amphimacer, quaternary feet
Anglo-Saxon attitudes ; Sprung rhythm
Syllabic verse ; Coleridge's 'Lesson for a boy'
Table of metric feet
pt. 2. Rhyme.
The basic categories of rhyme ; Partial rhymes ; Feminine and triple rhymes ; Rich rhyme
Rhyming arrangements
Good and bad rhyme? ; A thought experiment ; Rhyming practice and rhyming dictionaries
Rhyme categories
pt. 3. Form.
The stanza ; What is form and why bother with it?
Stanzaic variations ; Open forms : terza rima, the quartrain, the rubai, rhyme royal, ottava rima, Spenserian stanza ; Adopting and adapting
The ballad
Heroic verse
The ode : Sapphic, Pindaric, Horatian, the lyric ode, anacreontics
Closed forms : the villanelle ; The sestina ; The pantoum, the ballade
More closed forms: rondeau ; rondeau redoublé, rondel, roundel, rondelet, roundelelay, triolet, kyrielle
Comic verse : cento, the clerihew ; The limerick ; Reflections on comic and impolite verse ; Light verse ; Parody
Exotic forms : haiku, senryu, tanka ; Ghazal ; Luc bat ; Tanaga
The sonnet : Petrarchan and Shakespearean ; Curtal and caudate sonnets ; Sonnet variations and romantic duels
Shaped verse ; Pattern poems ; Silly, silly forms ; Acrostics
pt. 4. Diction and poetics today.
The whale ; The cat and the act ; Madeline ; Diction ; Being alert to language
Poetic vices ; Ten habits of successful poets that they don't teach you at Harvard Poetry School, or chicken verse for the soul is from Mars but you are what you read in just seven days or your money back ; Getting noticed ; Poetry today ; Goodbye
Incomplete glossary of poetic terms
Appendix : Arnaud's algorithm
ISBN: 1592402488
Branch Call Number: 808.1 Fr
Statement of Responsibility: Stephen Fry
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 357)
Subject Headings: Poetry Authorship
Topical Term: Poetry
LCCN: 2006043365
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From Library Staff

List - CRRL Picks: Writing Poetry by: CRRLAdults Nov 17, 2014

Fry starts with three Golden Rules: take your time, don't be afraid, and always have a notebook with you. From there he explores the basics of metre, rhyme, and form. Rest assured that all lessons are imparted with humor and lots of examples. Enjoy!

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Jul 26, 2014
  • pdelois rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you have ever felt confounded or intimidated by poetry, Stephen Fry is here to help. With his inimitable combination of knowledge and humor (or rather, humour) he will enlighten and inspire you. Check this book out, especially if you're planning to attend PPL's upcoming poetry readings.

Mar 27, 2014
  • KCLSRecommends rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great explanation of all the poetic forms & styles with examples. Nearly guaranteed to get you to start writing your own verse!


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