Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A lyric poem characterized by couplets formed by a long line followed by a shorter one.
  • n. The third division of the triad of a Pindaric ode, having a different or contrasting form from that of the strophe and antistrophe.
  • n. The part of a choral ode in classical Greek drama following the strophe and antistrophe and sung while the chorus is standing still.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The after song; the part of a lyric ode which follows the strophe and antistrophe.
  • n. A kind of lyric poem, invented by Archilochus, in which a longer verse is followed by a shorter one.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The after song; the part of a lyric ode which follows the strophe and antistrophe, -- the ancient ode being divided into strophe, antistrophe, and epode.
  • n. A species of lyric poem, invented by Archilochus, in which a longer verse is followed by a shorter one. It does not include the elegiac distich.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient prosody: A third and metrically different system subjoined to two systems (the strophe and antistrophe) which are metrically identical or corresponsive, and forming with them one pericope or group of systems.
  • n. A shorter colon, subjoined to a longer colon, and constituting one period with it; especially, such a colon, as a separate line or verse, forming either the second line of a distich or the final line of a system or stanza. As the closing verse of a system, sometimes called ephymnium.
  • n. A poem consisting of such distichs.
  • n. Specifically In music, a refrain or burden.

Etymologies

Latin epōdos, a type of lyric poem, from Greek epōidos, sung after, from epaeidein, epāidein, to sing after : epi-, epi- + aeidein, to sing; see wed-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • This is the life I commend, this the life I set before me as my ideal, to exercise no authority beyond what is right either in the marriage-chamber or in the state. epode

    Andromache

  • (Ah woe and well – a – day! but be the issue fair!) epode

    Agamemnon

  • When the first course was taken off, the females melodiously sung us an epode in the praise of the sacrosanct decretals; and then the second course being served up, Homenas, joyful and cheery, said to one of the she-butlers, Light here, Clerica.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • The signs denoting the end of a strophe or antistrophe (_paragraphus_), of an epode (_coronis_), or of an ode (_asterisk_), are often omitted by the scribe, and, when employed, are sometimes placed incorrectly, or employed in an irregular manner.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon"

  • Of the three parts of the ode, the _strophe_, the _antistrophe_, and the _epode_, each was to be sung at a particular part of the procession.

    The Symbolism of Freemasonry

  • 'Horatian' ode or the complex system of strophe, antistrophe and epode of the 'Pindaric' ode, 131 ff.

    The Principles of English Versification

  • These have first a strophe of undetermined length, then an antistrophe identical in structure with the strophe, and then an epode, different in structure from the strophe and antistrophe.

    The Principles of English Versification

  • The second strophe and second antistrophe are identical metrically with the first, the second epode with the first epode; and so on.

    The Principles of English Versification

  • In each set of three the first stanza is called the strophe (turn), being intended, probably, for chanting as the chorus moved in one direction; the second stanza is called the antistrophe, chanted as the chorus executed a second, contrasting, movement; and the third stanza the epode, chanted as the chorus stood still.

    A History of English Literature

  • The poet was Horace, who in the sixteenth epode had candidly expressed the fears of Roman republicans for Rome's capacity to survive.

    Vergil

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