(O) Ode

Modern odes are often free-verse poetry, declaring one’s love or appreciation for nature or everyday things. More classic odes, such as the Pindaric or Horatian, were often song-like and followed certain rhyming patterns.

Regardless of how they are categorized, odes are usually quite passionate and euphonious. I almost posted To Autumn by John Keats, or Ode to Salt by Pablo Neruda, which are both wonderful, but I came upon Alice Cary’s “To Solitude” and decided to use it as the sample:

I am weary of the working,
Weary of the long day’s heat;
To thy comfortable bosom,
Wilt thou take me, spirit sweet?
 
Weary of the long, blind struggle
For a pathway bright and high,—
Weary of the dimly dying
Hopes that never quite all die.
 
Weary searching a bad cipher
For a good that must be meant;
Discontent with being weary,—
Weary with my discontent.
 
I am weary of the trusting
Where my trusts but torments prove;
Wilt thou keep faith with me? wilt thou
Be my true and tender love?
 
I am weary drifting, driving
Like a helmless bark at sea;
Kindly, comfortable spirit,
Wilt thou give thyself to me?
 
Give thy birds to sing me sonnets?
Give thy winds my cheeks to kiss?
And thy mossy rocks to stand for
The memorials of our bliss?
 
I in reverence will hold thee,
Never vexed with jealous ills,
Though thy wild and wimpling waters
Wind about a thousand hills.

 

Read more about Alice Cary.

More about poetry: a to z.

Poetry Beyond All Praise – No. 30

Antique Typewriter Qwerty IXa celebration of great poets during april’s national poetry month

 

 

 

 

Lines on the Mermaid Tavern
by John Keats

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.
 
I have heard that on a day
Mine host’s sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer’s old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.
 
Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

 

See full list of poems on My Favorite Poets