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The Choral Ode / Pindaric Ode / Dorian Ode


Tinker

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The Ode
Greek Verse

The Choral Ode, Pindaric Ode or Dorian Ode distinguishes itself from other odes because of its three-part order. It is also strophic, not stanzaic like the Horatian, Keatsian and Ronsardian Odes. The strophe may differ in structure within the poem, while the stanza is uniform in structure within the poem. This verse form introduced by Pindar 522-433 BC Greece was originally written to be performed by chorus and dance and was therefore "emotional, intense, brilliant and changeable to entertain an audience" (Quote found in my research notes without noting the author. I wish I said that.). Of course it. like all Odes, exalts or praises its subject.

The names Choral and Pindaric Odes are obvious from the "choral" design of the frame and the name of the originator. The Dorians were one of the three tribes of ancient Greece who had their own dialect and culture. I couldn't find Pindaric named as a Dorian poet but he did live in the same era so I am making an assumption there must be some association between the Dorians and Pindaric.

The verse is structured in a triad or three parts, which can be repeated within the poem. The parts are the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. The individual parts are also referred to as the Turne, Counterturn, and Stand. Originally created for a chorus from one side of the stage to sing or recite the strophe. The response or antistrophe is sung or chanted from the chorus on the other side of the stage. The triad is concluded by both choruses singing the epode. The strophe and antistrophe are written in exactly the same structure or frame, at the discretion of the poet. The epode must change in structure. This variation is meant to bring more drama to the ode.

   

To the immortall memorie, and friendship of
that noble paire, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison                             
                                                     
The Turne
BRAVE Infant of Saguntum, cleare
Thy coming forth in that great yeare,
When the Prodigious Hannibal did crowne
His rage, with razing your immortall Towne.
Thou, looking then about,
Ere thou wert halfe got out,
Wise child, did'st hastily returne,
And mad'st thy Mothers wombe thine urne.
How summ'd a circle didst thou leave man-kind
Of deepest lore, could we the Centre find !

The Counter-turne
Did wiser Nature draw thee back,
From out the horrour of that sack,
Where shame, faith, honour, and regard of right
Lay trampled on ; the deeds of death, and night,
Urg'd, hurried forth, and hurld
Upon th' affrighted world :
Sword, fire, and famine, with fell fury met ;
And all on utmost ruine set ;
As, could they but lifes miseries fore-see,
No doubt all Infants would returne like thee.

The Stand
For, what is life, if measur'd by the space,
Not by the act ?
Or masked man, if valu'd by his face,
Above his fact ?
Here's one out-liv'd his Peeres,
And told forth fourescore yeares ;
He vexed time, and busied the whole State ;
Troubled both foes, and friends ;
But ever to no ends :
What did this Stirrer, but die late ?
How well at twentie had he falne, or stood !
For three of his four-score he did no good.
                                       ~~Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bard

II.1 (Strophe)
Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward’s race.
Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-eccho with affright
The shrieks of death, thro’ Berkley’s roofs that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing King!
She-Wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled Mate,
From thee be born, who o’er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heav’n. What Terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,
And Sorrow’s faded form, and Solitude behind.

II.2 (Antistrophe)
Mighty Victor, mighty Lord,
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable Warriour fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the Dead.
The Swarm, that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising Morn.
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o’er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded Vessel goes;
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;
Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind’s sway,
That, hush’d in grim repose, expects his evening-prey.

II.3 (Epode)
Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare,
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled Guest.
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long Years of havock urge their destined course,
And thro’ the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye Towers of Julius, London’s lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murther fed,
Revere his Consort’s faith, his Father’s fame,
And spare the meek Usurper’s holy head.
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled Boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, Brothers, bending o’er th’accursed loom
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

III.1 (Strophe)
Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun)
Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)
                          ~~Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

 

The Ode 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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