Created by the Greeks, the ode originated as a choral song to be used in Greek drama. Odes were arranged in stanzas which included moving from a lyrical premise (strophe), a return to the premise (antistrophe), and a finish (epode). During the drama, the chorus would walk across the stage while singing the strophe and walk back across in the opposite direction while singing the antistrophe.

In the 19th century, the ode evolved into lyrical poetry rather than songs. It became a poem with a lyrical quality which spoke directly to its subject. Although not a requirement, most odes use the word “ode” in the poem’s title.