Owing to Odes

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda widely popularized the ode in the mid-1900s.

Dos veces es belleza la belleza,
y lo que es bueno es doblemente bueno
cuando se trata de dos calcetines
de lana en el invierno.
-Pablo Neruda, Oda a los Calcetines
 
“Beauty is twice beauty,
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.”
-Pablo Neruda, Ode to Socks
 

Writing an ode is a great exercise for getting the writing juices flowing.  They are also a great practice in appreciating life’s simple gifts – something kids can relate to and tend to be much better at than us adults.

Because of this odes make a great creative writing classroom activity as well.  Kids of almost any age can grasp the idea of an ode, and many older kids love the exaggeration in comedic odes or the cynicism of the anti-ode.

Here is the ode I came up with as my writing warm-up today. I would love to see your odes in the comments!

Ode to my Keyboard

To Z, whose location is often forgot-
To     the     space      bar,     for slowing down my thoughts-
To . for closure, to often single A-
To F and to J for centering me when I stray-
To Shift, whom I Capitalize on each sentence anew-
To B, to C, to D, to E, to I, O, U-
I owe you.

For providing a dance floor for my mental tap routine-
For allowing me to pound you when I need to let off steam-
For the playground that these fidgety fingers love to explore-
And most of all, for providing an endless store
of the only currency with which this writer knows
how to pay back a world to which everything is owed: the ode-
I owe you.

But, Backspace, for the thousands of my letters you’ve taken-
Next time I insist my words are worth erasing, tell me I’m mistaken.
That, I believe, I am owed.

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing Technique and Prompts

One response to “Owing to Odes

  1. Very cool poem! I love it. Lots of clever word play and deep ideas. I’ll have to try one of my own some time.

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