Writing Exercise – Ode

by | August 6, 2012 | Writing Exercise | 11 comments

 By Ashley Lister

The ode is one of my favourite
styles of poetry, partly because it can take whatever form the poet decides. Traditionally
the ode is written in praise of something. 
One of the most famous odes in poetry, Keats’s ‘Ode to Autumn’, begins
with the following lines:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that
round the thatch-eaves run;

I could go into a pretentious
poet mode here, discuss the fact that this is written in iambic pentameter and
mention the a-b-a-b rhyme scheme in these opening four lines.

But, really, there’s no hard
and fast rhyme scheme for the ode. And there’s no definite metre. And, rather
than discuss immaterial points of poetry, instead I’d prefer to dwell on the
obvious reverence Keats is bestowing on his beloved season of autumn.

Note the affectionate language
used in this piece. In the first two lines we have:




This is the language of
someone who adores autumn. This is the work of someone who has used the concept
of the ode to fully lavish praise on what he perceives as the most deserving of

I’m discussing the ode this
month because I think it’s singly the most appropriate form of poetry for erotica.
It somehow feels right to lavish ode-worthy praise on an erotic partner or some
aspect of eroticism because they’re deserving of such high esteem.

Elevated language is no longer
a necessary requirement of this type of poem. All that’s needed is the desire
to write with adoration about something that deserves praise. Below is my
humble attempt.

Broad and boundless round backside

Cheeky cheeks just made to twerk

Built to bounce and buck and slide

Help me put your ass to work.

As always, I look forward to
reading any contributions that appear in the comments box this month.


Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. barenakedlady

    Eyes as glittering as gemstones
    A smile bright like morning sun.
    I want to ride you till you`re senseless.
    And stick a finger up your bum

    My god, how terrible was that? Still, it`s going on my blog. Will try and write more odes, as per your advice, Ashley.

    xx Jilly

  2. Ashley R Lister


    You're too hard on yourself. I've been over to your blog and left my comments there but I love the fact that your ode contains the word bum. You can't get much more British-sex-talk than that 🙂


  3. Graham X

    Make Up Sex

    Despite our love which we declare,
    There comes a time when we still fight,
    Each other’s wrongs are all laid bare,
    And old resentments brought to light.

    Though angry words in haste are said,
    We can not let them last the night,
    But in the safety of our bed,
    Let quarrels die and flesh unite.

  4. Ashley R Lister


    Elegant as always. There's an elevated phrasing to the start of your second stanza (Though angry words in haste are said) which foregrounds the reverential tone of this piece.

    Good one,


  5. Rachel Green

    Lazy Dreamer

    Was it ever thus, I wonder, as I wake.
    That dreams take hold of lovers as they sleep
    and with some passing fancy do they make
    the covers damp and sticky? I could weep
    for lack of will to Morpheus' hand
    but is it he that whips my aching bud
    until a needy blossom comes to fruit?
    I confess a lapse in memory. The sand
    that crusts my eyelids shutters dreams but could
    they keep me in erotic plots? The point is moot.
    I can recall but little of the plot;
    a lazy dreamer, I. I have forgot.

  6. Ashley R Lister


    I'm almost lost for words – iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme that's reminiscent of the petrarchan sonnet, a mixture of enjambment and end stops…

    Thank you! If you're ever in Blackpool I'd expect you to attend one of our open mic nights and read something of this calibre 🙂


  7. Lisabet Sarai

    Jilly, Graham, and Rachel!

    I'm awed. And intimidated.

    Wonderful examples!

  8. Rachel Green

    Thank you Ashley. I thought it perhapas a little short for an ode so I still have the exercise open and may post another in a day or two.

  9. Rachel Green

    My New Obsession

    How can I tell you of my desire
    when you have no recourse to make the dream
    reality? If only words could tire
    that tumultuous heart and make you scream
    my name in blood and sweat and snot and tears.
    You have no need to know of what I speak,
    no eyes to see how much I ache; no ears
    to hear how short my breath. My flesh is weak
    and though I wield the crop or cane to beat
    your flesh in red and weeping welts, I die
    a little every time you leave your seat
    to beg for more or less or ask for my
    forgiveness of some vague imagined slight.
    For when you have foregone your bonds and left
    my lair to meet some boy or man or fight
    your need to fuck, and go to bed bereft
    of comfort in the arms of someone new–
    Will you not think of me, my love, and lift
    a hand to call your mistress for a few
    unguarded hours? Consider this a gift:
    I cannot take your heart. You are not free
    to love as other women do. No more
    will I bind your limbs with silk or hemp. Be
    happy in your life, my traitorous whore.

    And now, alone, I watch you walk away
    without a single look behind, your heels
    clip-clop into the wet and greasy day,
    your knickers wet. A shadow of your weals
    furrows your brow. How can the smile you show
    reflect the darkness in your soul? How can
    the joy you bring to life where're you go
    take you to places where the shadows fan
    the flames of lust? What brought you to my door
    when all seemed lost, my love? What needy beast
    has bid you crawl on bended knee for more
    than I could offer? A salacious feast
    could not satisfy the hurt within your breast.
    You suffered much, and more than I could give
    lay buried in your wounded flesh, the best
    will always suffer more than I, and live.
    What manner of a man deserves your trust,
    to bare your thighs in heat and passion true?
    For such a man I might also find a just
    and useful purpose in my boudoir too.
    Meanwhile I'll watch you walk and live your life
    without my guiding hand. No need to fret
    for I will always be close by, a knife
    with which to judge. A new obsession met.

    I will always be discreet, a presence
    rarely in your thoughts at all or line of sight
    a passing face was in the crowd, a sense
    of being watched, perhaps a touch so light
    that you would barely register my hand
    upon your arm or hair. I pause to smell
    your perfume-have you bought another brand?
    The centre surrounds and masks your mask; a shell
    to cover what you are my darling girl.
    If only you would care to see my heart
    exposed in adoration and unfurl
    for want of you. My skill, your blood, my art
    inspired anew with just the briefest smile
    I follow as a lover might, my gaze
    upon your daily tweets, the extra mile
    you ran today, updates on your Facebook page
    keep me informed. I want to let you go.
    If only I could trust another soul
    to care for you as I would do and show
    the world your perfect form; a meagre goal
    I think you will agree. But there is none
    to recognise perfection in your grace
    and beauty and before the years have gone
    all I need's the memory of your face.

  10. Ashley R Lister


    Wowser. The narrative here is compelling. The persona of the poem is presented as someone driven and devoted. And the rhythm of this piece rushes in parts at a delightfully swift pace.

    Even when the language becomes explicit, it's appropriate for the context and is not done to shock.

    Powerful writing. Thank you for sharing it with us here on ERWA.


  11. Rachel Green

    Thank you for the feedback, Ash.

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt



Pin It on Pinterest