Poetry 101: The Ode

Poetry 101: The Ode

By James Matthew Byers

Greetings from the Darque Bard! This week’s venture into poetry centers on the ode. Its purpose is to formally address a person, thing, or event not present. Here’s a nifty link going into greater detail. 


I’ve opted to give an example of an Irregular ode. Mine is much briefer than the examples you will read. I might lengthen it up later. Though not directly in Beowulf, I’m relating this expression of Odin and his majesty to the epic poem through the Midgard connection. In the sequels to my rhyming Beowulf, there will be many elements of Norse myth woven into the fabric of its rhyme.

Ode to Odin

Odin sat atop his throne,
Hugin, Munin lurching
Trodden all throughout the earth,
Wings a feather searching

Eyes a god for all to see
Goading Midgard’s presence
Magic, ode, and poetry
Rising Asgard’s essence

Edict of an older name
Anglo Saxon aura
Odin rules the Rainbow Bridge
Fauna fit for flora

Geri, Freki, wolves a hunt
Riding storms a seeking
By the side of Odin grunt
Smells of death foul reeking

Greed and fervor, hint to come
Fenrir stock for eating
Death to he who rules the gods
Ragnarök depleting

Now he sits in Asgard’s thralls
Halls of stag impala
Waiting there for all to come
Join him in Valhalla

Hope you enjoyed this week’s example and study of the ode. Feel free to write one of your own and leave it in the comment box. And until next time, happy writing!

-The Darque Bard

About the Author

James Matthew Byers, the Darque Bard, is a published, award winning poet. He has been in numerous anthologizes, eZines, and magazines, such as Weirdbook, Grievous Angel eZine, and Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. His debut publication, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, was published in 2016 by Stitched Smile Publications and is a rhyming version of the ancient poem. He has also won or placed in multiple contests in the Alabama State Poetry Society. He resides in Odenville, Alabama, drifting between the forests. A bard’s work is never done.