Your prompt for today, from Daisy Thurston-Gent, is to write an ode. You many think of stuffy, old-fashioned poems but Daisy shows us that the ode can be vibrant, modern and versatile and you can write one about anyone or anything. Below are some pointers and examples from Daisy.
Choose a subject to write your ode about. Spend 2 mins listing everything you can think of that reminds you of that topic, then 15-20 mins writing and 5 mins editing
- An Ode is a lyric poem in praise of or dedicated to someone or something
- Can have irregular line length/rhyme schemes
- Specificity is key.
- E.g. Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market by Pablo Neruda or Hanif Abdurraqib’s Ode to Jay-Z, Ending in the Rattle of a Fiend’s Teeth or Nigella by Wilmer Mills
Ode to Winter
by the time the speaker blew on a pogues song at full volume / i think we all knew / winter was coming / way that she does / and those who were left drank / to gnarly accordions / and ragged mandolins screeched promise to us / with bad teeth / and we all fell in love / with our young hearts / brushing the crumbs from our best suits.
winter / you are the dirt that holds my family / you are midnight vinyl dancing graceland with poets and their strangers / you are bitter morning tire screech / a kettle freshly screamed / look at you / turning up to work in your pyjamas / huddled kitchen staff under the bright lights of the hot plates / sharing sickness / cinnamon sticks and star anise / always something mulling / frozen bicycle chains / fumbling icicle fingers / a year’s supply of nectar points.
O’ winter! yours are the stories we can’t lay to rest / exes / restless ghosts and weights that lay heavy in excess / pressing on our chest plates / making us breathless / frozen moments / shouting matches across headlights on frosted drives / it’s a wonderful life.
the tv is on / no one watches / traditions gravy soaked bubble away on a hot stove / mum’s roast potatoes goldening while upstairs she is hoovering / violently / I am lying beneath the christmas tree / breathing the pine / while the cat plays mouse with my trouser leg / needles fall like tiny samurai swords either side of me / the trifle dish lies smashed on the doorstep for the rest of the year / of course there is a fire / skin crackling / a child / singing winter night / seeing their breath / disappear / for the first time.
Daisy is a writer and producer from Cambridge. She is a founding member of London Queer Writers, a creative network curating regular live poetry events and monthly online writing workshops for the LGBTQ+ community. She is one half of Radio Xaddy, a brave little podcast about Queer history and culture and co-host of Queer Cambridge on Cambridge 105fm.
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