Aeolic Ode

Aeolic Verse refers to meters commonly used in the lyrical works of Sappho and Alcaeus. Aeolis was the west and northwestern region of Asia Minor which included most of the Greek city-states and the Island of Lesbos in the 8th to 6th centuries BC, the Greek Dark Ages. Four classic meters are known from that culture, the Alcaic Stanza, the Sapphic Stanza, Glyconics (the basic form of Aeolics) and Hendecasyllabic Verse. The verse is quantitative, usually hendecasyllabic, employing 11 syllables and often includes an anceps, a quantitative metric foot that includes a syllable that could be interpreted either long or short. The meter helped set a tranquil or contemplative tone. Aeolic poetry.

• The Aeolic Ode is the earliest of the Odes, the product of an ancient Greek culture but I’ve found little descriptive information other than some quantitative scansion showing a similarity to the Adonic line of the Sapphic strophe. It is said to have a contemplative or tranquil tone.
• An asclepiad is one of the Aeolic meters attributed to Asclepiades of Samos. The aclepiad follows a particular metric pattern. It is built around the choriamb (metric pattern of LssL). The common example is a spondee followed by 2 choriambs and an iamb. LL LssL LssL sL, (L = long syllable, s = short syllable) the meter was used by Horace and others in Latin.

An example in English is: In Due Season by WH Auden
Springtime, Summer and Fall: days to behold a world
Antecedent to our knowing, where flowers think
Theirs concretely in scent-colors and beasts, the same
Age all over, pursue dumb horizontal lives.
On one level of conduct and so cannot be
Secretary to man’s plot to become divine.
Lodged in all is a set metronome: thus, in May
Bird-babes, still in the egg, click to each other “Hatch!”;
June-struck cuckoos go off pitch when obese July
Turns earth’s heating up; unknotting their poisoned ropes.
Vipers move into play; warmed by October’s nip,
Younger leaves to the old give the releasing draught.
Winter, though, has the right tense for a look indoors
At ourselves and with First Names to sit face to face,
Time for reading of thoughts, time for trying out
Of new meters and new recipes, proper time
To reflect on events noted in warmer months
Till, transmuted, they take part in a human tale.
There, responding to our cry for intelligence,
Nature’s mask is relaxed into a mobile grin,
Stones, old shoes, come alive, born sacramental signs,
Nod to us in the First Person of mysteries.
They know nothing about, bearing a mess from
The invisible sole Source of specific things.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Long Island University, C.W. Post College
Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO site. It is a wonderful resource.

Other Odes: Aeolic OdeAnacreontic Ode, Choral Ode or Pindaric Ode or Dorian Ode, Cowleyan Ode or Irregular Ode, Horatian OdeKeatsian or English Ode, RonsardianOde

Thematic Odes:

Elegy, Obsequy, Threnody Ode
Elemental Ode
Genethliacum Ode
Encomium or Coronation Ode
Epithalamion or Epithalamium and Protholathiumis
Palinode Ode
Panegyric or Paean
Triumphal Ode
Occasional Verse

Dear Readers,

The information taken from above and elsewhere leaves me in a state of confusion and despair. It seems that since the forms of that Greek and Latin era were both quantitative and irregular, and based upon long-short sounds that English (outside of music) does not do well, emphasizing instead stressed vs unstressed syllables – that I must take the bull by the horns and announce that since 21st century poets are
transformative (as all poets have been), I shall herein transform.

I have devised for my structure of the Aeolic Ode the following metric. It incorporates:
(1) Adonic line – a verse line with a dactyl followed by a spondee or trochee; supposedly used in laments by Adonis.
(2) Hendecasyllabic lines,
(3) A choriamb, to approximate an asclepiad.
(4) A foot that possesses an optional stress (approximating an anceps)
(5) The four metric feet include two, three, and four-toed metric feet. That alone is irregular.
(6) Rhyme is purely optional, in use and position.
(7) Stanza length and number is left to poets discretion.

First foot: A Dactyl
2nd foot: Either a spondee or a trochee|
3rd foot: A Choriamb (DUM da da DUM)
4th foot: An Iamb

Below is my example poem, and a visual template for my version of the Aeolic Ode for the 21st Century.

Ode to a Three-toed Sloth (Aeolic Ode)
Praise now the three-toed sloth who’s a folivore.
Hang he does, upside down, in a tranquil way
Eating the leaves and shoots and not needing more.
Cockroaches, moths and algae and ciliates,
beetles and fungi call his hair home sweet home.
He is a happy host for a range of life.
Eating what other cannot abide, he takes
Much time for every action for little food
value has leaves. Digestion requires a month.
Though he’ll descend each week just to take a leak
poop and then cover up the latrine he dug,
he’s most content up high. Do you wonder why?
Everything’s done upside down because of claws
made for that task, including a nap and sex.
Even some sloths who died have remained attached.
Half of the muscle mass that’s allotted to
beasts of their same size saves that hard- gleaned glucose
Therefore a sloth’s sloth screams “elegant” design.
© Lawrencealot – August 15, 2014
Visual template for this particular form.
Aeolic Ode

Classical Hendecasyllable

Classical Hendecasyllable
Line, Metrical Requirement
This is a trochee, a dactyl, and three trochees. The first and last trochees can be spondees.
XX Xxx Xx Xx XX or
Xx Xxx Xx Xx Xx
Line/Poem Length:
See Also:
To contact us, e-mail
Copyright © 2001-2013 by Charles L. Weatherford. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Charles for the wonderful resource above, which after investigation is frequently the only one I need.
I found these in quatrains with abab rhyme, and in a single 15 line unrhymed stanza by Robert Frost. “For Once, Then, Something” the only such he ever wrote in this form.
Example Poem
Extinguished          (Classical Hendecasyllable)
Glowing embers ignite when fanned with ardour
left alone they conserve by self-containment.
Love’s lost heat can be flamed by trying harder
Or, ignored and then settled by arraignment.
(c) Lawrencealot – March 2, 2014
Visual Template

Licentia Rhyme Form

This is an invented form created by Laura Lamarca.
This is an isosyllabic poem (all lines have 11 syllables)
It is stanzaic, consisting of five 12 lines line stanzas, (60 lines)
It is rhymed.  The Rhyme pattern is  AABBCCDDEEAABBffgghhiiAACCjjkkllmmAA etc.
It is a Refrain Poem with the nth couplet of the first stanza being the 1st couplet of the nth stanza and the first couplet is also the final couplet of every stanza.
Meter optional.
Example Poem
Environmentally Friendly     (Licentia Rhyme Form – almost)
“He sprinkled smiles to folks he met every day.”
Let those words, when he’s gone, be what people say.
A tree provides some refuge from heavy rain
his mirth provided escape from dull disdain.
A shopping trip or a walk was not worthwhile
if while about he’d not make some person smile.
His own good cheer was augmented without fail
if laughs arose from his own invented tale.
The thoughtless actions to which we all are prone
he overlooked, lest perhaps they were his own.
“He sprinkled smiles to folks he met every day.”
Let those words, when he’s gone, be what people say.
A tree provides some refuge from heavy rain;
his mirth provided escape from dull disdain.
A brief respite from the downpour bolsters one
with will to press on with what they have begun.
Though laughing won’t remove underlying woes,
it unpollutes the place where folk’s upset grows.
A friendly howdy do when it it’s not required
may spread along the day leaving some inspired.
He gives away his smile but before he’s gone,
you’  notice that there’s another pasted on.
“He sprinkled smiles to folks he met every day.”
Let those words, when he’s gone, be what people say.
A shopping trip or a walk was not worthwhile
if while about he’d not make some person smile.
A child too shy to talk will still tell his folks
that he had fun with that old guy telling jokes.
He’s pause for drivers anxious to push ahead
and choose a more distant place to parking stead.
He’d open doors for the ladies- (what a thought),
He behaved the way the kids of old were taught.
He figured gloominess was but state of mind
and helped all he met just leave that state behind.
“He sprinkled smiles to folks he met every day.”
Let those words, when he’s gone, be what people say.
© Lawrencealot – December 3, 2013
Visual Template
This is NOT a Licentia Rhyme From in that it does NOT have five stanzas.


Loose Sapphic

There are variations of the Sapphic Stanza and I have chosen the Loose Sapphic form created by Marie Marshall. The form is composed over four lines, the first three being hendecasyllabic and the fourth being pentasyllabic.
The focus is on syllabic meter rather than accentual giving the poet more room to explore poetical device and grammatical schema within the verse structure. From the creator’s own examples I have found the poems to be more vibrant and dramatic than their strictly metric counterparts.
Using ‘X’ to represent each syllable the schema of the Loose Sapphic form can be shown as thus:
Example Poem
Lady Bird Adrift

My intent to fly by-and-by was boosted.
I’m content to flutter by the butterfly
effect.  Some butterfly in Balboa flapped
boldly days ago.
A seagull here an eagle there added puffs
against the calm.  A heated hillside thermal
energy aggregated puff-puff forces-
calm contingencies.
I’ll leave Louise and Lester nibbling aphid
nosh, and catch this seed in transit through garden’s
wide expanse.  I may deplane any time or
merely take a chance.
I’m smarter than your average bug because a
beetle, not a bug be I.  This subterfuge
could save my life– wasps find me tasty and look
to see just me fly.
© Lawrencealot – June 26, 2012