Ode, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?

Because confusion does no one any good (or almost no one) I am taking this opportunity to put in a few words in favor of a distinction.

When you hear “poetic form” you most likely think of sonnets, limericks, haiku, and scores of other take-these-blanks-and-add-your-words poem types. Form as shape. Form as formula. That’s fine. Not gonna touch that meaning of form.

There is another, older sort of poetic form, though. These are poems grouped more by what is said than by how the words are put together. Ode. Lyric. Elegy. Satire. Pastoral. Georgic. No rhyme pattern or syllable count will describe an elegy. There are a few rules, but those are less important than subject matter and attitude. In that, these forms are akin to prose genres, and for the sake of clarity I prefer to use that term. Poetic genres.

I’m not going to ask you to delve deeply today, though.

Instead, simplify even more and write a Praise Poem. And to make things a smidgin easier:

Praise something small enough to pick up with your thumb and forefinger.


So. What do you think?

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