Ode Poem by William Wordsworth | Synonyms, Examples, Literary Terms, History and Types of Ode

Ode Poem: An ode is a form of literary or artistic expression that is a dedication or celebration of a person, place, thing, or idea. It is a lyrical form of poetry.

What is Ode?

Ode is a Greek word Ode Poem meaning sing or chant. An ode is a specific form of poetry that is intended to dedicate and celebrate a person, place, object, concept, idea, etc. There are no bounds of rules while writing an ode, such as stanzas or lines.

An ode is usually accompanied by music and dance. Thus, the poetry form is lyrical in nature. Poets have reserved their contemporary use to express strong emotions and sentiments towards something that exists in the past.

The tone of the ode is generally factual and serious. Ode is a type of poetic essence that can be reflected through multi-stanza or sonnet forms.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

Types Of Ode

Ode is of three types:

  1. the Pindaric Ode
  2. the Horatian Ode, and
  3. the Irregular Ode.

The Pindaric Ode

This form of Ode is named after the ancient Greek poet Pindar. He is credited with the invention of this particular type of ode. The Pindaric Ode or poems were performed with music and dance. This became a major phenomenon to celebrate athletic victories.

The Pindaric Ode is comprised of three structural parts- strophi, antistrophe, and epode. The beginning is formal and contains complex metrical texts. It is called strophi. The middle or intermediate body contains repetitive texts from the beginning, and it is called antistrophe. The final or epode section comprises varied metrical values.

The best example of a Pindaric Ode is William Wordsworth’s poem, Ode on Intimations of immortality from recollections of early childhood.

The Horatian Ode

This type of ode is less formal in nature. It was named after the Roman poet Horace. The tone of this form is quiet and peaceful. It is not generally sung in ceremonies or festivities. This form of Ode follows a regular recurrent stanza structure that is more suited for quiet reading rather than theatrical presentation.

A perfect example of Horatian Ode is Allen Tate’s poem “Ode to the confederate Dead.”

The Irregular Ode

This type of ode is written irrespective of any regulations of Ode. Usually, the ode embraces all kinds of possible inputs with a core system of a classical pattern of ode. The tone of the ode differs as the poetic subject varies.

A perfect example of an irregular ode is John Keats’s “Ode On A Grecian Urn.”

History of Ode in English

The history of the Ode dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries. It was foremost introduced in European land, taking the form of lyrical poetry sung in ceremonies and events. Other cultures, such as Persian, Indian, American, etc., popularized ode by following their poems’ poetic techniques.

In the English literary universe, Edmunds Spencer’s Odes “Epithalamium” and “Prothalamium” are major factors that led to odes’ popularization. Soon poets like John Dryden and Abraham Crowly effectively started writing odes and their variant forms such as Pindaric Odes.

The major popularity earned by the odes was during the era of great English poets such as John Keats, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelly, etc. These poets extensively used the various forms of odes to express their strong emotions towards people, things, and events.

How to Write an Ode?

Odes are usually easy to compose because of their less complex rules. With the use of certain poetic elements, writing an ode is simple.

  1. The first element of writing any piece is inspiration. Before you begin writing an ode, figure out your inspiration. The inspiration can be anything from a person to a fictional object.
  2. After deciding on your muse, you must thoroughly gain knowledge about it. You might not end up writing about each of its aspects, but knowledge helps to gain perspective.
  3. Decide on the things you finally want to write and note the points.
  4. Start writing the ode.
  5. Use various poetic elements such as alliteration, repetition, anaphora, metaphors, similes, enjambment, etc., to make your poem more aesthetic in nature.
  6. Use of grammatical senses such as verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc., must be carefully done.
  7. While writing the ode, try to think and get the best perspective and frame the words cautiously.
  8. After finishing the poem, make sure to edit it yourself or ask someone else to edit it.

Why do Writers Write Ode?

Writers write an ode to express their strong emotions and feelings towards a person or object. Odes are a way to highlight forgotten things, people, or feelings. Sometimes odes are written to celebrate people or an event.

Some odes are also written to make people aware of the little things in life that matter, but people mostly unsee them. Sometimes odes on nature and its beauty are written to remind people of their importance.

Ode Poem Examples

“Ode on Intimations of immortality from recollections of early childhood” by William Wordsworth

A brilliant example of Pinadric Ode in the English language is “Ode on Intimations of immortality from recollections of early childhood” by William Wordsworth. The Ode begins with the following line:

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth and every common sight

To me did seem

Apparelled in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it hath been of yore;—

Turn wheresoe’er I may,

By night or day,

The things which I have seen I now can see no more

This ode is dedicated to the natural world, where the poet tells the readers to appreciate it—the poet highlights how humanity has forgotten the wonders of nature. The poet wants the readers to make a place for nature in their hearts. Through the poem, the poet remembers the time when nature was appreciated and celebrated.

“Ode on Solitude” By Alexander Pope

A brilliant example of a Horatian ode is the poem “Ode on Solitude” by Alexander Pope. The poem goes as:

Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

to breathe his native air,

In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread.

Whose flocks supply him with attire,

Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter fire.

Throughout the entire poem, the poet brings out the vitality of solitude and its place in human lives. The poet uses rhythmic tone and metaphorical language to write this ode.

“Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats

A good example of Irregular Ode is John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale.” The poem goes as:

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down;

The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown:

Perhaps the self-same song that found a path

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,

The poet writes an ode to a nightingale and its nature. This is a celebrated poem of 1819. The speaker appreciates the bird nightingale and writes about its history, present, and future.

Other Examples Of Odes

  1. The Lady to her Guitar by Emily Bronte
  2. Ode to the west wind by Percy Bysshe Shelly
  3. Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats
  4. Ode to the Confederate Dead by Allen Tate
  5. The Progress of Poesy: A Pindaric Ode by Thomas Gray
  6. Ode to Spring by Thomas Gray
  7. Ode to thread by Pablo Neruda
  8. Odeon a Greyson Perry Urn by Tim Turnbull

Ode Synonyms

Some words that can be referred to as resembling or similar words to ode are verse, composition, lyric, ballad, poesy, song, etc. However, no exactly a word exists that is truly synonymous to ode.

Ode Related Literary Terms

  • Allegory-a poet uses this poetic sense to express broader aspects of a theme or story, or idea.
  • Ballad- This is a narrative poetic form, where the poet uses narration and storytelling to express. It is often companioned by music and chorus.
  • Elegy- This is a poem or song dedicated to someone who has died.
  • Figurative Language- These are the figures of speeches such as metaphors, similes, proverbs, etc., that are used in writing a poem.

Other Useful Sources

  1. Ode and its early culture
  2. 14th century English odes
  3. The types of Odes
  4. Examples of Irregular Odes
  5. The greatest English Poets
  6. The history of odes

How do you write an ode poem?

  • If you’re looking to write your own ode, remember these rules:
  • Use quatrain stanzas. Classic odes (Pindaric and Horatian) use four-line stanzas known as quatrains. …
  • Choose a grand or intensely personal subject. …
  • Be precise about the length of your lines.

What is an ode poetry?

A formal, often ceremonious lyric poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea. Its stanza forms vary. The Greek or Pindaric

What is ode and its example?

ode Add to list Share. An ode is a kind of poem, usually praising something. A famous example is John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Apparently, Keats was really into urns. … The word ode comes from a Greek word for “song,” and like a song, an ode is made up of verses and can have a complex meter.

What are the 3 types of odes?

There are three main types of odes:

  • Pindaric ode. Pindaric odes are named for the ancient Greek poet Pindar, who lived during the 5th century BC and is often credited with creating the ode poetic form. …
  • Horatian ode. …
  • Irregular ode.