Lying by the pool, an inviting body of water like a large emerald kidney shimmering in the Andalucian sol
, my thoughts drifted between grilled swordfish
and Stephen Fry
's controversial new book , 'The Ode Less Travelled
: Unlocking the Poet Within.' Having seen him on television last night talking about it, saying that anyone who can speak and read the English language can write poetry, I looked it up , as unfortunately there are no real English bookshops in the nearby vicinity.
Stephen Fry believes that '' poetry is a primal impulse within us all '' and the book is about writing poetry, full of various tools for the reader, claiming it will make writing poetry, ''fun, easy, satisfying, fulfilling and delightful". He says '' I have a dark and dreadful secret. I write poetry.'' He gives his own examples of all the different forms and styles , from the Petrarchan
sonnet to the villanelle
, arguing in favour of the traditional forms refering to his haiku as '' worthless arse-dribble '' ! This is one book I will not be reading despite my utmost respect for Stephen Fry's cornucopia of etymological knowledge, wit, intellect and an ability to do many things well, as I never really been very interested in poetry and don't share the belief that it is a primal impulse within us all.
The book is a patronising finger up the established modern poets of the day saying, '' it is a wonder that any considerable poetry has been written in the last 50 years .'' Fry refers to the "free-form meanderings " of modern poets as '' emotional masturbation'' ! I also think that saying that anyone who can speak English can write poetry is a bit like saying anyone with a hand can paint. Anyone can paint, even Congo
the chimpanzee can paint, but not everyone can paint well. Nevertheless I'm sure that for the aspiring poets out there this will be a very enjoyable book to read, being well written, well- researched and amusing for those who don't like modern poetry.
Tag: Stephen Fry