Exercise #1 was an exercise in reading aloud and marking accents.
This exercise was to write twenty lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter, using unpolished, contemporary English in about 10 minutes. From Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, Gotham Books 2006.
- I have already thought of many lines.
- This book is good – I shouldn’t be surprised.
- I hate tomato soup and tuna too.
One guess what food was served for lunch today…
- To read good poetry fulfills the soul.
- The house is full of mess that is not mine.
I’ll make the kids clean up before they eat.
- Both dogs need walking every single night.
- My tummy isn’t feeling very well.
- Her hands were old and wrinkled like a prune.
- My can of Mountain Dew is very cold.
- The hike up Pilchuck made my legs so sore
The lightest touch upon my calf caused pain.
- Please stay, don’t leave me here alone and sad.
- Procrastination is my favourite vice.
- Her face was turned to stone by Gorgon’s stare.
- It’s smart to be an optimist sometimes.
- The fork was cruel and glinted with sharp tines.
- I find it easiest to write these words,
When looking anywhere but on the page.