I picked up Stephen Fry’s excellent book, ‘The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking The Poet Within’, after stalling with it a few years ago. All through he advocates reading poetry aloud and gives space for lots of practice.

This is one exercise—to write some lines of dactylic pentameter on the subject of cows—that I did today:

Cows are quite massive—it’s hard not to feel slightly freaked out
Crossing a field in your Wellington boots as the sun sets.
They stand around and they ruminate, watching you pass by;
You hold your head high, pretending you all know who’s boss here.

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