What is an ode? Oda is a song of praise

We all heard about such a genre of literature as an ode. So what is it? What is the history of this genre? Who is considered the progenitor of the ode? What is the theory of the genre? All these questions can be answered in this article.

The definition of "ode"

Oda is an old song on any topic that was performed in ancient Greece in a choir with musical accompaniment. Later, they began to call it a laudatory verse, dedicated to the glorification of important historical events or eminent persons. Sometimes an ode glorifies majestic natural phenomena. The style of such works is particularly solemn, it is designed in a sublime spirit with elements of pathos.

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Translated from the ancient Greek ώδή (oide), the ode is a song. Distinguished laudatory, dance and deplorable.

V. Dombrovsky, for example, defined the concept as follows: “The word"ode "is the same in Greek as our" song. "But not every song is an ode; this is usually the name of a song in which a poet touched by something high,unusual and surprisingly worthy, a subject with which common human, national or public interests are associated, expresses its feelings with a fiery word put into all the means of picture, expression and melody. ”

Signs of ode

An outstanding feature of an ode is an upbeat mood, a bold, unstoppable flight of fancy, an ardent sense of inspiration and a poetic form of thought expression adapted to it. Theme for glorification and exaltation takes a song of praise from the sphere of high ideals, impulses, desires and competitions of man. The will, the advancement of humanity, love for the native land, the struggle for the realization in the life of the high clicks of freedom, truth and fraternity, ideal intentions and competition, heroic deeds and feats, the invincible power of the song - all this can give rise to a spirit rise. And all this can be glorified in ode.


Oda is a genre of literature founded by the ancient Greek poet Pindar (4th century BC), who was the author of a number of laudatory songs in honor of the gods, the victories of the Greeks in wars and the Olympic Games. His poems of praise had a strict metric form and composition (stanza - anti-strophe - epod).Roman lyric Horace, who lived in the IV century BC, was an ode in honor of Venus, Bacchus, as well as the emperor Augustus Octavian. In the Renaissance, the Frenchman P. Ronsard (middle of the XVI century) became the most famous sponsor. His odes sang of nature, which brought joy and peace to people (“To Beller's Creek”). Some odes of Ronsard were written in honor of love. This is an ode to the woman (“My friend, they led to live more conveniently”).

an ode to a woman

Theory of the ode genre

Oda is a genre that has developed alongside panegyric works, primarily a hymn and dithyramb. These works were to be accompanied by playing musical instruments (harp, cipher, etc.) and dancing.

The canonical genre structure of the work, in which civic motifs clearly dominate, acquired an ode in the work of Malerb, one of the founders of French classicism. The Odes of Malerb (early 17th century) defended the inviolability of the principles of absolutist statehood, praising the monarch and his relatives, high dignitaries and military leaders.

The praise song received its theoretical substantiation in the poetic treatise of N. Boileau “Poetic Art”.Along with the tragedy, an ode is a literary genre that ranks among the highest. N. Boileau formulated the rules for writing odes relating to language, metrics, general poetic tonality. Compositionally, a song of praise begins with a singing, followed by a statement of “noble and important matter”, which includes various episodes and retreats, and the so-called lyrical disorder (“jumping” of the poet from one motive to another), and ends with an ode to the end. According to N. Boileau, the ode was able to touch the reader's imagination with her state solemnity.

ode is a genre

The outstanding Odopistyts in the literature of the XVIII century were M. Z. Chénier, Lebrun-Pindar (France), Klopstock, Schiller (Germany), Lomonosov, Cantemir, Trediakovsky (Russia). The latter introduced the term "ode" in Russian poetry. In the era of romanticism, the praise song occupied a significant place in the work of Byron (“Ode to the authors of the bill against the destroyers of machine tools”), Shelley, Kuchelbecker.

Ode is a genre of literature

In the literature of the XX century ode is extremely rare. As examples, it is worth remembering the “Ode to the Library” by S. Kryzhanovsky, his own cycle “Odes” (“Ode in honor of the tree”, “Ode to man”, “Odu to speed”), “Ode to the language of man” I.Muratova, “The Ode to the Revolution” by V. Mayakovsky, “The Ode to the Conscience” by I. Drach.

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