learning to write poetry

Robin's first attempts at iambic pentameter

On a quest to develop my creative writing skills I have just discovered that I know nothing about the technical fundamentals of writing poetry. My bad, as the kids seem wont to say.

I have been lent an amazing book to help deflower my poetic innocence titled ‘The Ode Lesson Travelled‘. It is written by Mr Stephen Fry, a hero of mine who once promised me tea and cake in a letter but this never materialised due to his busy filming schedule!

…anyways, I have been having so much fun learning about iambic pentameter, enjambment and caesura I thought I might share some of my early efforts with the world!


Removed from industry, the morning came
So silently my heart began to sing.

My marmite chops, already serviced by
The toasters toil, retired back upstairs.

Awake! Awake! Awake! Tell me what dreams
Do stir this soul away from sacred sleep?

At peace; the lists exhausted; now to my pen
I will go swiftly till we are found out.

Wanting for nothing, apart from another
warm body to hold this body to theirs.


There we go, that was painless… now for chapter four.

la gare d’austerlitz

my words fall flat and clumsy,
my pen scratches the page.

school-boy rhymes collide with stunted haikus,
scattered amongst extinct to-do lists,
and piled up under a burden of exile, expectation and exhaustion.

on four hours sleep, in le gare d’austerlitz,
i let down my guard and fall in love.

the lady with red trousers and a violin sits down next to me
unaware that we are married and expecting a son called claude.
we exchange smiles and i put hers in my pocket as she gets on the train.

at the toilet i urinate next to a boy with a machine gun.
somewhere between platforms 18 and 10, after passing
a hairy man scraping chewing gum from the concourse,
i fall in love with paris too for good measure and remember
that i need to buy some nail-clippers when i get to orleans.