Once more, I’ve dipped into Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled. This time, he asks me to write some anapaestic hexameters describing how to get to my house. Because I am an English teacher, I cannot count and ended up writing anapaestic pentameters. Never fear … I redid the exercise with the proper syllable count. I’ve included both results below. 😉


The miscount:

It’s off Kensington. Go all the way to the end of the street.

Take a left there at Rackliffe – you’ll see a big tree at the fence.

At the end of the fence take a right. Will you honk? Should I watch?

The right count:

It’s off Kensington. Go all the way to the end of the street. At the tree

By the fence take a left onto Rackliffe, then right into parking lot there.

Will you honk? Should I watch? Send a text and I’ll you downstairs in the lot.


For the second part of the exercise, Fry asked me to write dactylic pentameter (got the syllable count right the first time) on the subject of cows. Seriously. Each line contains four dactyls and a spondee.

Brown and white, black and brown. All they do all the day – eat grass.

Milking time, feeding time, grooming time, all the time. No fun.

Farmer Brown. Mrs. Brown. Little Sue. Brother Joe. All in.

Cows are their life, they don’t know any more, they just – give in.

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