What is an Ode? J.A. Cuddon's definition of an ode is quite comprehensive: 'A lyric poem, usually of some length. The main features are an elaborate stanza-structure!' a marked formality and stateliness in tone and style (which make it ceremonious), and lofty sentiments and thoughts. In short, an ode is rather a grand poem; a full-dress poem. Howcver, this said, we can distinguish two basic kinds; the public and the private. The public is used for ceremonial occasions, like funerals, birthdays, state events; the private often celebrates rather intense, personal and subjective occasions; it is inclined to be meditative, reflective. Tennyson's Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington is an example of the former; Keats's 'Ode to a Nightingale', an example of the latter.'
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