. . . my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.
- from Ode to my Socks by Pablo Neruda
An ode praises a person or object in ten lines. The Greeks used rhyme in irregular meter. The English ode has 10-line stanzas that repeat and rhyme in the format of ABABCDECE.
Write to a body part that you take for granted. An ear, a big toe, an elbow or knee might inspire a poem. What do they need from you?
Choose a muscle with a musical quality like a rhomboid, intercostal, deltoid, or quadriceps.
Use the prompts below to generate ideas. Play and make humor reign. Don't worry about format.
Ode to a body part:
l. Salute it
2. Describe its qualities.
3. How does the part make you feel and why?
4. Add a frustration
5. What would you prefer in its place?
6. Detail shape, color, texture
7. What talent results from it?
8. If it ran away how would you mourn?
9. Would you exchange it for a different part?
10. How would you write a want ad?