Ode was Greek origin. It is a type of lyrical stanza but different from lyric. It is a form of subject and sometimes used to commemorate the importance of public occasions. Subject matter is highly exalted. The poet deals with the elevated theme and his treatment is in very good manner. He doesn’t talk about any undignified themes in his odes. In later days, it became serious and dignified composition.
The author is serious in his choice of subject and manner of presentation while writing an ode. While writing an ode, he should give his full power to make a beautiful ode. Odes are longer than lyrics because the poem is basically about the development of an idea and is full of deep and sincere emotion and it is consciously elaborate. Ode is often addressed to the object it treats. It has its theme an important public events like national jubilee, death of a person etc… The primary instrument used were lyre and aulos.
Greek ode has 3 types of forms . They are pindaric ode, Horatian ode and irregular odes
Dorian ode is otherwise known as pindaric ode. Dorian ode or pindaric ode comes from the district and dialect. This type of ode is basically chorus. Choric was sing to the accompaniment of the dance and musical instrument. Structure was borrowed from the movements of the dancers. It has three parts: one of the stanza form known as strophe. During the recitation of which the dancers made a turn from right to left; Another similar stanza form known as Antistrophe during which the dancers made a counter turn from the left to right; a8nd the third stanza form called Epode where dancers stands still. These three types ca be repeated ‘n’ number of times in the ode. Successful odes by Thomas Grey are ‘ The Progress of poesy’, and ‘The Bard ‘. The great poet pindar used this word brilliantly and hence it is called pindaric ode.
Horatian ode :
Horatian ode is otherwise known as Lesbian ode . Lesbian ode is originated from an island ‘lesbo’. Horatian ode is simpler than pindaric ode and it proved easier for the poets to use. It consists of number of short stanzas all in similar length and arrangement. Treatment is direct and dignified and the thought is clearly developed. This type of ode is popularized in Latin by two great Roman writers Horace and Catullus. The works of Horace was the model for English imitators and the English odes are commonly called as Horatian odes. English ode pursued it’s own style in subject matter , treatment and outlook. If it is regular, it consists of series of exactly similar stanzas like the odes of Shelly.
If it is irregular, each stanzas follows a different arrangement as in the case of wordsworth, Tennyson, Robert Bridge odes.
Most common English odes rhyme scheme is ababcdecde. In 17th and 18th Century, all the English odes were occasionally set to music. Music were composed to all the English odes by Purcell, Handel and Boyce.