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Hello, this is Frank Hubeny. The topic today is the ode, a poem of praise.

Odes have been discussed in the past at dVerse. Chris Galford wrote about John Keats and his Ode to a Nightingale . Tony Maude wrote about Pablo Neruda’s odes asking poets to write in Neruda’s style.  One motivation for this prompt today came from reading in the recent Open Link Night Peter Frankis’ ode to Emily Dickinson.

In looking at Lewis Turco’s “The Book of Forms” I read that one can categorize odes by the way they were written. There’s the Keatsian ode, the Horatian ode, the Cowleyan ode, and the Ronsardian ode and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were others. One could perhaps talk about a Neruda ode that is formless.

Turco also categorizes odes by their contents. A triumphal ode would praise some victory. A genethliacum praises someone on their birthday. An epithalamium praises a marriage. An elegy is an ode praising a deceased person.

What underlies all of this is praise for something or someone or some event whether real or fictional. Since praise is so common it makes me wonder if many poems could be viewed as an ode even those that don’t have the word “ode” in the title. The challenge today is to write a poem of praise. There are no formal constraints and no content constraints.

When I think of “ode” the first thing that comes to my mind is Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” which might be classified as a classic country ballad elegy. Here is Bobbie Gentry singing her 1967 hit (Source 2old2rock):

The Mister Linky below will be open for two days. If this is your first time linking here what you would do is to find or write a post containing a poem related to the prompt. Copy the link to your blog post and paste it in the Mister Linky.  Read some of the poems that other poets have linked and comment on them. That is how we get to know each other.