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End User License Agreement

Stephen Fry has written a book about poetry. I remember reading a blurb about it when it first came out. For some reason, I thought it was just going to be a guide to poetry appreciation.

I am sorry, Mr. Fry, for misunderstanding your intent before cracking the cover of your book. But, now that I have, I know that it is something so much better than a book on poetry appreciation. It is a technical manual for writing poetry.

The book has a foreword followed immediately by a section entitled, "How to Read This Book", which contains three rules:

1. Take Your Time
2. Don't be Afraid
3. Always carry a notebook (Fry 2005: xxv)

Mr. Fry tells us that these rules are, in essence, the manual's end user license agreement. You have to agree in order to continue. He even gives you a place to check "Agree" or "Disagree". Beginning this book is my last fling with summer. And, I whole-heartedly agree.

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