A poem of high seriousness with irregular stanzaic forms.

  • The regular Pindaric or Greek ode imitates the passionate manner of Pindar (ca. 552-442 B.C.) and consists of a strophe, an antistrophe, and an epode.
  • In English the Pindaric odes are termed irregular, Cowleyan, or just English. In 1706 William Congreve wrote that "The Character of these late Pindariques, is a Bundle of rambling incoherent Thoughts, express'd in a like parcel of irregular Stanza's." Examples include William Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality."
  • Horatian odes, after the Latin poet Horace (65-8 B.C.), were written in quatrains in a more philosophical, civil manner. Examples include Andrew Marvell's "Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland" and William Collins' "Ode to Evening."
  • The Sapphic ode consists of quatrains, three 11-syllable lines, and a final 5-syllable line, unrhyming but with a strict metre. For example, Swinburne's "Sapphics" and Ezra Pound's "Apparuit."