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This chapter is devoted to the highly flexible and successful verse form. In its origins, the ode is much more ancient than any other form of verse, since it has a double ancestry which goes back to classical Greece and Rome. The Greek model is called the Pindaric ode, because it was perfected by the lyric poet Pindar, who lived from around 518 to around 438 BC. The other model is the Horatian ode, which is based on the forms used by the Roman poet Horace. The best-known example of the Horatian form of ode is Andrew Marvell's 'An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland', which Blair Worden describes as 'the most private of political poems'. The 'irregular' ode form, which became prominent in the nineteenth century, seems to take elements from both the Pindaric and the Horatian forms.


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