Poetry on the Pillars

Write an Ode

An ode is a poem, often lyrical, that conveys exuberance, usually in praise of something or somebody. Originally, odes were intended for song. In ancient Greece, odes were often commissioned to celebrate athletic victories. That practice today might sound like, "All hail the quarterback with his spiral through the air, that is why he is named Most Valuable Player."

Two primary forms of ode are the Horatian ode (named for the Roman poet Horace) that consist of regular stanzas and rhyme schemes, and the Cowleyan ode (named for Abraham Cowley) that has no regularity in rhyme scheme stanza or line length.  Some famous examples of the ode are the classics Ode to a Nightingale and Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats. You may remember those from English classes I'm sure you have all taken.  For a more modern take, take a look at the 20th Century Poetry Collections offered through the databases on the library's website. There you will find other gems including an Ode to Laryngitis by Andrei Codrescu that I enjoyed. (You will need a current library card to access the database, but you don't need a library card to post.) 

Write an ode to something that you love.  You may write it in either style.

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)



David Sharp said:

Ode to a Lawn

(Submitted by Dennis Sustare)

The richest sod is laid once more
I pray that this will finally score
Withstand the gnawing grubs!
Survive the lack of rain!

The only thing that grows are weeds
The finest Johnson grass indeed
Homeowners wrath be damned!
At least the front is green!

The squirrels have planted many trees
I'm getting blisters on my knees
No neighborhood awards!
No photo in the news!

September's heavy rain falls down
Alas, too late, it all is brown
At last I give a call,
The gravel truck arrives.

# April 4, 2011 11:35 AM

Eric Towler said:

These Vast and Subtle Shoes – A Reminder to Myself and an Ode to the Great Teacher
by Eric Towler

I am in my shoes.
At times, it may seem to stink in here.
Might need to freshen up.
Walk softly, step lightly,
and don't judge yourself.
This is freshening up.

Fall down, stand back up.
Eventually, you find your stride.
And even still, even then,
we won't always have the right words,
or the right time.

And we can never really know,
at least not in the intellectual sense.
We may begin to perceive what we are,
but even this is beyond perception.

Let go.

What is it that is holding you back?
Or maybe a better question...
What is it that is holding you?
What is it that is holding all of us?

Is it this building?
Is it this block?
Is it this city?
Is it this state?
Is it this country?
Is it this continent?
Is it this planet?

What is holding the planet?
What is holding this
speck of time and space?
We can call it god
if we wish, but could
this be a mental reduction,
contracted in conception
and pinnable by perception.

Don’t we know
that we cannot know?
Hasn’t thousands of years
battling with our intellect
taught us at least that much?

Let go of letting go.

So what is this?
Can it be grasped?
I don't think we can know.

But we can live,
and we can be lived.
We can breathe,
and we can be breathed.

What is it that we are living?
What is it that we are breathing?
What is that is breathing us?

All of us,
living this life,
life living us.

So don't judge yourself.
We are in these shoes.
If we fall down,
let us help ourselves back up.
We are all learning to walk softly.
Eventually, we may find our stride.

But even this is not known.
If we do,
it will surely come in learning
to walk together.

Come, sit.
Please share with me
what it is that you find disturbing.
I vow to be open.
And I, in turn will share with you
what may be unsettling.

Together, turning to face our Self,
we begin to settle.
There is only this one activity.
You go on being fully human.
Life can only ever be itself.

And I will pay attention.
Giving myself permission
to be that which it has always been.
I am not in my shoes.

Gone, as the water gently touches the shore,
before returning to its mother's body.
Gone, with the finite definition of time.
If time is infinite, how can it possibly be defined?
Gone, alongside the truth.
The truth that is right in front of us.

In this way, everything is known,
but only as an ever unfolding inquiry.
The truth is, there is no truth.
Unless the final arrival at truth
is an ongoing repetition of an
endless unfolding.

Are we not changed with
every passing moment?
Life is happening all the time.
What moments are we
letting go into the world?

But this is not about perfection.
If life unfolds endlessly
where is the final arrival?
Where is the culminating moment?
What doesn't ultimately
become transformed?
There is no polarity here.

Be it the individual,
be it the family,
be it the state,
be it the country,
if we're told that we don't need each other,
if we're told our independence is our path to freedom,
we'd better listen.

We'd better listen deeply,
so that we can see straight through
these empty words.
In other words,
we need not believe a word of it.

The doors of our homes offer themselves
in the morning as portals
allowing us to cross through
the threshold and enter into our lives
and into the liberation of daybreak.

Returning once more,
in the late hours of the evening,
these doors offer themselves
again and again into the solace
of our life
right here
at home.

How many are involved
in gifting these gateways?
Does anything exist
in and of itself,
in isolation,
independent from
everything else?

If we are alive right now
we are a success story
requiring an infinite
field of good fortune.

We have the unequivocal
gift of being
in a human body.
To be breathed,
maybe that’s enough?

Please don't buy
into the notion that you are separate.
Or that any other being is either.

# April 4, 2011 4:29 PM

David Sharp said:

 Regrets come in packages of sugar- Oh, so sweet

-Deliah Flores

# April 8, 2011 9:23 AM

David Sharp said:

Ode to BBQ

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
But nothing beats BBQ.

Frank Merriman

# April 8, 2011 9:24 AM

David Sharp said:

Beloved Books

by Elaine Turner

Oh my beloved book, my comfort as a child

Put into a box as a teenager

Only to be rediscovered as an adult

Bringing comfort once again

# April 26, 2011 3:23 PM
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