There are books to help us come to grips with cooking, gardening, painting, guitar playing, carpentry, line-dancing and Italian grammar. We Britons love to learn. But poetry has languished for years in the dusty realms of the academic or the wilderness of formless self-expression. If you can speak and read English you can write poetry. But it is no fun if you don’t know where to start or have been led to believe that Anything Goes. Stephen Fry, who has long written poems for his own private pleasure, invites you to discover the incomparable delights of metre, rhyme and verse forms. Whether you want to write a Petrachan sonnet for your lover’s birthday, an epithalamion for your sister’s wedding or a villanelle excoriating the government’s housing policy, The Ode Less Travelled will give you the tools and the confidence to do so. Brimful of enjoyable exercises, witty insights and simple step-by-step guides, The Ode Less Travelled guides the reader towards mastery and confidence in the Mother of the Arts.
‘Whatever he does, Stephen Fry has it – that rare, unlearnable quality. When he speaks, you listen. When he writes, you read.’ – Literary Review