A Guide to Odes

By: Abigail Adams

The History of Ode and It's Purpose

"Ode" comes from the Greek term, oide, which means to sing or chant and belongs to the long tradition of lyrical poetry. At first, Ode's were accompanied with dance or music, but was later taken up by the romantic poets so they could convey their strongest sentiments. Because of this, it's purpose is to formally address an event, thing, or person.

Charecteristics of an Ode

In an Ode, you will find the author talking about a person or thing in a solemn or serious type of tone. It usually written in a grand style to it and has a hard and fast rhythm pattern. It is like hearing a person vent in lyrical form.

Example of an Ode

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.

-"Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" by: William Wordsworth


  • Rafig23. "The Ode: Definition, Types & Characterisitics." HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
  • "Poetic Form: Ode." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 2004. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
  • "Poetry Examples of Odes." YourDictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.