In 1967 Nashville was immersed in the song, “Ode to Billie Jo”  It was twangy and swampy and who knows (even now) what happened to Billie Jo. Yet as a young listener I could sense the power of pulling someone or something out of the shadows and speaking the story of their existence that has never been told.

You can write line after line telling what you love about something or what is haunting about someone.

To get ready for Tuesday night:
Watch Kevin Young recite his Ode to Gumbo. (video STARTS at the 21st second)  This poem is one of his many odes .. he has also honored Okra, Barbecue, Short ribs, and my favorite, Ode to Pepper Vinegar.

Secondly, read the poem Song by Edward Hirsch  It is an ode to all the silent things that lose their value.  I can feel his compassion build for every person and torn up couch that has been kicked to the curb in his poem.

Be thinking about what you would like to honor in an ode.

Some suggestions?
Ode to the journal I didn’t finish, Ode to my stack of bills, Ode to my kickstand, Ode to the last 25 pounds I put on, Ode to Cinnabons,  Ode to the voting booth.  Ode to my Blues, Ode to my Dishwasher, Dear Procrastination, Ode to Letters I never Sent

 The list is endless.  Enjoy these and I will see you Tuesday night.

YouTube- Kevin Young Reads Ode to Gumbo

Ode to Gumbo

This poem is by Kevin Young.
He is one of our top shelf poets.


by Edward Hirsch

“This is a song for the speechless,
the dumb, the mute and the motley,
the unmourned! This is a song for every
pig that was too thin to be slaughtered
last night, but was slaughtered
anyway, every worm that was hooked
on a hook that it didn’t expect,
every chair in New York City that has
no arms or legs, and can’t speak English,
every sofa that has ever been torn
apart by the children or the dog
and earmarked for the dump, every sheet
that was lost in the laundry, every
car that has been stripped down and
abandoned, too poor to be towed away,
too weak and humble to protest.
Listen, this song is for you even if
you can’t listen to it, or join in;
even if you don’t have lungs, even
if you don’t know what a song is,
or want to know. This song is for
everyone who is not listening tonight
and refuses to sing, Not singing
is also an act of devotion; those
who have no voices have one tongue.”