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The Ode Less Travelled

 
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Apprentice Poet



Joined: 07 Mar 2010
Posts: 54
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:14 am    Post subject: The Ode Less Travelled Reply with quote

I loved this book on writing poetry for pleasure, written by Stephen Fry. I wondered if anyone else had come across it - and what you thought of it ? (The full title is The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the poet within.)
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fall guy
TWI Fiction Writer of the Year 2009


Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 1366
Location: Copenhagen

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i read it. i thought it was very useful.

as i am basically a non-poet who sometimes writes poetry, i found the technical descriptions quite easy to understand and i also worked my way through a number of the exercices.
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Apprentice Poet



Joined: 07 Mar 2010
Posts: 54
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like his direct and unintimidating writing style. I have used it in conjuction with The Making of a Poem which has lots of examples of poems in various forms.

I really like trying to fit to a form because it distills my thinking, and disciplines me about word choice. Writing good free verse is just so difficult. When my friends and I were meeting as a writing group I set myself the exercise of trying to write a genre novella using all the different forms - of course I never finished but it was a good exercise to get me trying different things. One of the thing that was good about the Ode Less Travelled was all the exercises to practice. I do think Fry is right - you have to do it rather than just read about it.

The other fab thing about Fry's book was how he made all the parallels with other hobbies, got me back into writing with his emphasis that you can write for your own pleasure - you wouldn't expect to be Picasso if you painted, or Tiger Woods if you golfed, its OK to write at whatever level. I found that really free'd me up to try anything - not worrying too much about whether it would be 'good'.
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