An Ode to Old Odes and Poets We Owe

Keats was the guy our
English teachers fawned all over
‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ spellbound
many a napping student, when not
making their stomachs churn
Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley
all dutifully took their turns
more recently was Neruda, in love
with socks – a sartorial, lyrical turn.

But those that write in praise of things
follow a lengthy line; Pindar, Horace, and
Solomon could turn a phrase quite well;
Ancient Rome gave us Nero, who did them
all one better; he sang his odes to music
he played, to his subjects mounting ire,
his ending was poetic: lyre, lyre, toga on fire

Shakespeare took a crack at odes; though
murder, betrayal, lust all played a bit  better
the ancient men who wrote at length
and in praise of beauty, form and such,
present imitators, they mostly, usually suck.

Still, without their eleoquent inspiration,
where would us writers be; we’d be
left to our own devices, describing love of trees!
But there is a place, though it may seem odd,
for the odes of olden days;  for were it not for
poems of praise, poets would’ve never gotten laid

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016

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