Is the formalistic approach as applicable in ode poetry than to other genre of poetry?

Expert Answers
James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a good question. A formalist approach can be applied to nearly all forms of poetry; in this sort of approach, as you probably know, the patterns in the poem are identified and, if possible, compared to the conventional patterns for that specific type of poetry, whether it be an ode, a lyric, an elegy, a sonnet, or even a work in free verse.

But, yes, the ode (in the traditional sense of the word) is particularly well suited to a formalist approach because it is a type of poetry that is both highly structured and because there are a number of different types of odes. There are at least three types -- Pindaric, Horatian, and Irregular. Some other sources give other terms, such as Sapphic, that may overlap with the previous three types.

The sonnet is similar to the ode in number of ways (internally structured according to at least two or three different dominant patterns) and these similarities may make it impossible to say that, among all types of poetry, the ode is best suited to formalist analysis.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many different types of poetry as well as many different approaches to poetry. For example, you have tragedies like that of Sophocles' and Shakespeare's and then you have epics like that of Homer's. You also have different approaches to poetry like that of New Criticism, Structuralism or more formalistic approaches. I would say that all the different types of approaches are valid, as long as you do not make one approach absolute. You can look at approaches and methods as different ways to expand your imagination on any poem. I will link a few approaches on the bottom.