You thought I was kidding about the Pindaric Odes, didn’t you? Well, I wasn’t. A Pindaric Ode has three parts each with a Greek name that I don’t remember. The first stanza poses a question. The second stanza, identical in structure, answers the first. Then the third stanza of a different structure sums it all up. I tried one with only moderate success. Odes are supposed to be serious poems dedicated to serious musing on some subject. I chose the noun. Odes are always to a noun of some type (Keats, Grecian Urns, etc.) so I felt it was time the noun had an ode of its own. For the meter I chose Iambic Tetrameter (8 beats) and the following rhyme scheme: aabcdbcd aabcdbcd ee. Why did I pick that rhyme scheme? No idea. I just like having all the rules for my little works all plotted out before hand. That is a personal quirk. Here goes:

      Ode to the Noun

      Oh lovely noun, oh perfect word,
      Far superior to a verb,
      Show us your people, things, your place.
      Show us the proper or common
      Way to use upper or lower
      Case. Just how can we ever erase
      The confusion of the wrong one
      Used in our sentence? Oh horror!

      For when do I use turd or Turd?
      Will the answer be too absurd?
      I never want to have to face
      Dead wrong Capitalization.
      Please remind me to remember
      That all dull nouns are lower case
      While special nouns get all the fun.
      They get the caps since they’re proper.

      Thank you nouns for all that you do,
      Our odes would be strange without you.

Truly appalling. I see why I don’t do this often. I’m better at Carrollian parodies of other people’s work. Let me know if you have better luck with your odes.

And that’s it for the poetry challenge section of our BEOWWMW (Buried Editor’s Official Week of Writing and Musing on Writing). I still plan to suggest various writing exercises that are outside our normal comfort zones. I don’t believe we can truly grow as writers until we try the things we think we can’t do to see if maybe we can. But I’ll also go back to talking about slush. Only this week I will focus on what in the writing itself separates good slush from bad.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.