The Ode Less Travelled has been out for a while now, six years in fact since its first publication. Nobody needs another review – have a look at the amazon ones. I got the paperback in 2009.

They say “constraint sets you free” (well, I do, anyway). With no limit to the available stream of syllables and sentences which your language flings at you, you’re transfixed like the proverbial duck in headlights. You’re quite unable to begin creating exactly because the possibilities are endless. (It is a duck, isn’t it?)

Anyway – regardless of how you feel about poetry – if you just like playing with words then the strictures and structures imposed by the iambic pentameter allow you to get moving. Don’t think of this as ‘other people’s poems

I think it may be possible to put
A word or comment in a tiny box
And simultaneously to hide a foot
Some twenty times in freshly rolled up socks

Once you’ve committed that kind of crime, preferably several times just to prove you can repeat the experiment reliably (but I won’t bore you here with any further chalked outlines) you can cast the chains and go mental:

Gracefully noiseless lessness trampolined in the rushes, the rivers, the baskets of fruit flies, the soporific drosophila outrageously topping the melanine toffee. Can it be about to be that we shall fling our rapidly responsible troops of solidity at the swings and rotund abbots of ministerial wedges? Did the flagrant oil of rabbit fry them dry? Did it?

Then you paint it. This can be fun. But maybe you don’t want to do it out loud.

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