Odes are traditionally serious, dignified poems about a specific subject or event. There are many different types of odes, so numerous and varied that I will not attempt a listing of them here. This means that odes often have a fairly rigid structure, but what that structure actually is varies greatly from one ode to another. The lines below form the final stanza from John Keats’ legendary ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn.’ They are characteristic of the lyrical and poetic beauty that odes possess.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’