Thursday, 17 April 2014

favOurable Or what?

is for Ode

An ode is a lyrical poem in praise of and/or addressed to a subject that has captured the poet’s interest and inspired them.  Classical odes were typically long poems with very complex structure.  The basic rules are

·        Multiple stanzas, each stanza of 10 lines, at least 3 stanzas
·        All lines in iambic pentameter except the 8th line
·        The 8th line in iambic trimeter
·    The rhyme scheme is ababcdecde for each stanza throughout. 

(I’ve found it helps with writing long stanzas if they are broken up into quatrains and tercets like so: abab/cde/cde and then combined when finished)

Now for my ode:

Keep it simple!

Keep it plain and simple, the song of praise
don’t fret too much about metres and feet;
as many points of view as there are ways
and in no time you’ll have your ode complete.
Of course the rules are strict but they can be bent,
the main idea is to communicate.
Let’s sum the rules first so that everyone
knows what is important;
and if we write ten short words like this straight,
then there’s the first stanza over and done.

Each stanza ten lines and each line or phrase
in iambs that means a da-DUM da-DUM beat
bring it back on track if the format strays
but once a while it’s okay too to cheat.
The line syllable count in any event
mustn’t top eleven that’s the going rate
abab c dec de the rhyme scheme is fun -
there’s the ode, praise song meant
as instant lyrical lift, and line eight
two iambs shorter than the previous seven.

Authentic doesn’t need gaudy displays
keeping it simple is on trend and neat;
a genuine smile, a heartfelt sentence says
more than long words that are syrupy sweet;
straightforward has its own trademark accent
and short words have a grave and glorious weight -
the power of truth uplifts ode and action.
Let this be the intent.
Unadorned beauty’s hardest to create;
and hard to be laidback, and pay attention.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.


  1. "short words have a grave and glorious weight"

    So true, so very, very true!

    Love the way you write!

    1. Basically keeping the words short feels sensible, psst, easier to get the spellings right too :)

  2. You know apl of these you could perhaps compile them at the end of the challenge and publish them on a separate page, so if someone wants to learn about the verse forms with the examples, this would be easily accessible. The way the poems themselves explain the rules of the form. Just a thought btw :)

    1. In the drafts right now, Sabeeha. Great minds and all that... ;p


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