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Tinker

The Ode and its Variations

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Tinker

Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

The Ode (from Greek - aeidein "to sing or chant") is a genre of poetry in which the subject is praised, exalted or favorably contemplated. The term "ode" is concerned more with its exalted theme than the structure of the poem, although there are variations that do incorporate a specific structure or frame in their delivery.

The ode displays three qualities, focus on one subject or object, an extended and elaborated description of the subject and last, a celebratory or praising tone. Edmund Gosse defined the ode as "enthusiastic and exalted lyrical verse, directed to fix purpose and dealing progressively with one dignified theme." The ode is commonly formal and often lengthy, however, there are some beautiful odes that are neither formal nor lengthy. The structure or frame varies depending on the type of ode written. The earliest odes can be traced back to Ancient Greece.

My introduction to the Ode was:
Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats English Poet 1795-1821

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoyed,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Leadest thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayest,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Odes named for poet or culture of their origin:

Thematic Odes:


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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