Happy 4th of July! It’s Independence Day in the United States and much of the country is celebrating with a day off, singing patriotic songs, cooking out and watching fireworks.
Some patriotic songs have lyrics that were originally poems which were later set to music. So, for today, it seems the right thing to do is to talk about the ode.
Poetic word of the day: “ode” (click here to read the definition on YourDictionary.com)
Now that you know what “ode” means, you can find odes almost anywhere. And if you are going to write an ode, you know you will be writing with a lot of respect and honor for the person or object of your poem, though the style of poem you choose to write may vary.
The words to the hymn: “Ode to Joy” are poetry, and there are more than one version of the poem, but the melody to the song is so famous, you would recognize it if I started humming it. I won’t have to, because when you turn on the television, you will find it is the background music for many commercials and is the theme for numerous movie soundtracks. Since we are working with poetry here, my point is that poetry often inspires music. I wonder: would the music ever have been written if it wasn’t for the poem?
On this patriotic day, I want to share the poetic words to “America the Beautiful” (click to hear on YouTube). Can we call the words to this song an “ode”? I think so.
PROMPT: Is there a person or an object that is very important to you? Write an ode. You can use rhyme (from Day 1) and/or iambs (from Day 2). You may use haiku. If you do, feel free to write a series or string of haiku to make your ode. Otherwise, you may use any style of poetry you like.
PARENTS WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN: Talk about something that is important in your family and discuss what you would put in an ode about that thing. The family car may be very important to your family and an ode will celebrate this fact. You might talk about what you would put in an ode to each other [i.e.: if mom or dad writes an ode to the child(ren) or the child(ren) will write an ode to the parents or grandparents]. If you have recently lost someone who was close to your child(ren), talk about making and ode to them. An older person should write down what the child says. Then pick out words that are iambs or that you can rhyme and write those words down, too. Your child(ren) may start telling you their poems. Be ready to write them down and save them.
If I am inspired to write an ode, I might write one for you to thank you for reading and sharing this project.