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Stephen Fry is a bestselling novelist, comedian, and actor who has appeared in such films as A Fish Called Wanda, Wilde, A Civil Action, Bright Young Things, Gosford Park, and V for Vendetta.
"While Mr. Fry's book is aimed at a general audience, it seems particularly well-suited to the lawyer or Web-site designer or homemaker or medical technician whose daily life feels distant from poetry and yet who remembers, with a yearning fondness, the joys of reading Shakespeare or Keats or Frost as an undergraduate. ... Fry understands the saving role that humor can play in any discussion of poetry's mechanics." ï¿½Brad Leithauser, The Wall Street Journal Fry is "spot on in his assessment of the allusion-packed, overcooked, dead-on-arrival poems that are often passed of as high literature these days. ...While the comic relief is mostly welcome, Mr. Fry truly shines when ardently defending and explicating the virtues of form ... The Ode Less Travelled is something more than a solid and engaging how-to book. 'Verse is one of our last stands against the instant and the infantile, ' Mr. Fry writes in the introduction, and this book is his impassioned, worthy contribution to the cause." ï¿½Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times "The Ode Less Travelled is at once idiosyncratic and thoroughly traditional-- it's filled with quips, quirks and various Fry-isms, yet still manages to be a smart, comprehensive guide to prosody. ... The key to the book's success is its tone, which is joking, occasionally fussy, sometimes distractingly cute, but always approachable. This book works because it gives us a strong perspective without sounding pinched or dogmatic." ï¿½David Orr, The New York Times Book Review "Of all the poetry guides you're likely to read, this one's probably the most entertainingly written and downright useful. The book is full of technical terms-- spondee, enjambment, trochee-- but these are explained so clearly that we very quickly can use them as though we've been doing so all of our lives. The book is an education not only in the mechanics of poetry, but also in its history. An, naturally, it's full to bursting with the author's delightfully impish wit ... Fry's legion of fans will get an enormous kick out of it, and English Lit students will learn more from this one book than they will from a stack of more traditional textbooks." ï¿½David Pitt, Booklist A "delightfully erudite, charming and soundly pedagogical guide to poetic form ... Fry himself pens intentionally vapid and yet entertaining poems that demonstrate each form's rules and patterning, and ends each lesson with wittily devised exercises for readers. ... Fry has created an invaluable and highly enjoyable reference book on poetic form, which deserves to achieve widespread academic adoption, despite or even because of its saucy and Anglocentric tone." ï¿½Publishers Weekly