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elaborate and stately lyric poem of some length. The ode dates back to the Greek choral songs that were sung and danced at public events and celebrations. The Greek odes of Pindar, which were modeled on the choral odes of Greek drama, were poems of praise or glorification. They were arranged in stanzas patterned in sets of three—a strophe and an antistrophe, which had an identical metrical scheme, and an epode, which had a structure of its own. The ode of the Roman poets Horace and Catullus employed the simpler and more personal lyric form of Sappho, Anacreon, and Alcaeus (see lyriclyric,
in ancient Greece, a poem accompanied by a musical instrument, usually a lyre. Although the word is still often used to refer to the songlike quality in poetry, it is more generally used to refer to any short poem that expresses a personal emotion, be it a sonnet, ode,
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). The ode in later European literature was conditioned by both the Pindaric and the Horatian forms. During the Renaissance the ode was revived in Italy by Gabriello Chiabrera and in France most successfully by Ronsard. Ronsard imitated Pindar in odes on public events and Horace in more personal odes. Horatian odes also influenced the 17th-century English poets, especially Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick, and Andrew Marvell. Milton's ode "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629) shows the influence of Pindar, as do the poems written for public occasions by his contemporary Abraham Cowley. However, the Cowleyan (or irregular) ode, originated by Cowley, disregarded the complicated metrical and stanzaic structure of the Pindaric form and employed freely altering stanzas and varying lines. In general the odes of the 19th-century romantic poets—Keats, Shelley, Coleridge—and of such later poets as Swinburne and Hopkins tend to be much freer in form and subject matter than the classical ode. Notable examples of the three kinds of ode are: Pindaric ode, e.g., Thomas Gray's "The Progress of Poesy"; Horatian ode, e.g., Keats's "To Autumn"; Cowleyan ode, e.g., Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality." Although the ode has been seldom used in the 20th cent., Allen Tate in "Ode on the Confederate Dead" and Wallace Stevens in "The Idea of Order at Key West" made successful, and highly personal, use of the form.


See studies by C. Maddison (1960), G. N. Shuster (1965), R. Shafer (1918, repr. 1966), J. D. Jump (1974), and P. H. Fry (1980).



a genre of lyric poetry and music. In antiquity the word “ode” did not at first have any terminological significance; later, it came to designate a lyric, choral song usually written in strophes and (particularly in the case of Pindar’s songs) ceremonial, elevated, and moralizing in tone. During the Renaissance and baroque periods (16th through 17th centuries) the term “ode” designated a passionately lofty lyric patterned after works by classical writers (primarily Pindar, and sometimes Horace). P. Ronsard (France), G. Chiabrera (Italy), A. Cowley and J. Dryden (England), and G. R. Weckherlin (Germany) were among the Renaissance and baroque poets who wrote odes. During the period of classicism (17th-18th centuries) the ode was canonized as the leading genre of high lyricism (the French writers F. de Malherbe, Voltaire, J. B. Rousseau, and E. Le Brun). Its metric and stanzaic structure were simplified, and its compositional devices were governed by a set of rules (the “quiet” or “headlong” onset, the use of digressions, and the degree of “lyric disorder” permissible). Several different types of odes were distinguished: spiritual, or ceremonious (Pindaric) odes; didactic, moralizing (Horatian) odes; and amorous (Anacreontic) odes.

In Russian poetry odes are encountered for the first time in the works of V. K. Trediakovskii (1734). There was a struggle between two tendencies, one associated with the baroque tradition (the quest for “delight”—M. V. Lomonosov, V. P. Petrov), and the other, a rationalistic tendency, associated with the Enlightenment (the quest for “naturalness”—A. P. Sumarokov, M. M. Kheraskov).

During the preromantic period at the end of the 18th century, the criteria defining the ode as a genre “were loosened up” (the poetry of G. R. Derzhavin), and there were more frequent attempts to imitate classical forms (F. Klopstock and J. C. F. Hölderlin in Germany). By the romantic period, the term “ode” was used loosely in poetry, without any regard for the traditional, once canonical features of the genre (for example, “odes” by P. B. Shelley, J. Keats, A. Lamartine, V. Hugo, and A. Manzoni). In Russia the ode was closely linked with the tradition of civic poetry (for example, A. N. Radishchev’s “Liberty” and K. F. Ryleev’s “Civil Courage”). During the 19th and 20th centuries the traditional system of classifying lyric poetry fell apart, and the concept of the ode fell into disuse, appearing only episodically in poetry (for example, V. V. Mayakovsky’s “Ode to Revolution”).

From the 17th century the term “ode” was used in Western Europe to designate a vocal-instrumental work written for court festivals, in honor of an event or an aristocratic person. In England, odes written by Purcell and Handel were similar to cantatas. In addition to cantata-like odes (J. S. Bach’s Funeral Ode and the Ode to Joy, the finale to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony), German composers created odes in the form of songs with accompaniment. During the following periods of music history the most varied types of odes were written by such composers as L. Cherubini, F. David, F. Liszt, G. Bizet, I. F. Stravinsky, and S. S. Prokofiev (Ode to the End of the War, for eight harps, four flutes, double basses, and wind and percussion instruments; 1945).

M. L. GASPAROV (poetry)


1. a lyric poem, typically addressed to a particular subject, with lines of varying lengths and complex rhythms
2. (formerly) a poem meant to be sung


An Object-Oriented Database from AT&T which extends C++ and supports fast queries, complex application modelling and multimedia.

Ode uses one integrated data model (C++ classes) for both database and general purpose manipulation. An Ode database is a collection of persistent objects. It is defined, queried and manipulated using the language O++. O++ programs can be compiled with C++ programs, thus allowing the use of existing C++ code. O++ provides facilities for specifying transactions, creating and manipulating persistent objects, querying the database and creating and manipulating versions.

The Ode object database provides four object compatible mechanisms for manipulating and querying the database. As well as O++ there are OdeView - an X Window System interface; OdeFS (a file system interface allowing objects to be treated and manipulated like normal Unix files); and CQL++, a C++ variant of SQL for easing the transition from relational databases to OODBs such as Ode.

Ode supports large objects (critical for multimedia applications). Ode tracks the relationship between versions of objects and provides facilities for accessing different versions. Transactions can be specified as read-only; such transactions are faster because they are not logged and they are less likely to deadlock. 'Hypothetical' transactions allow users to pose "what-if" scenarios (as with spreadsheets).

EOS, the storage engine of Ode, is based on a client-server architecture. EOS supports concurrency based on multi-granularity two-version two-phase locking; it allows many readers and one writer to access the same item simultaneously. Standard two-phase locking is also available. Ode supports both a client-server mode for multiple users with concurrent access and a single user mode giving improved performance.

Ode 3.0 is currently being used as the multimedia database engine for AT&T's Interactive TV project. Ode 2.0 has also been distributed to more than 80 sites within AT&T and more than 340 universities. Ode is available free to universities under a non-disclosure agreement. The current version, 3.0, is available only for Sun SPARCstations running SunOS 4.1.3 and Solaris 2.3. Ode is being ported to Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 95 and SGI platforms.

E-mail: Narain Gehani <nhg@research.att.com>.
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