Poetry Kaleidoscope: Guide to Poetry
Antistrophe, the portion of an
ode which is sung by the chorus in its returning movement from west
to east, in response the strophe,
which was sung from east to west.
It is of the nature of a reply, and balances the effect of the
strophe. Thus, Gray's ode called "The
Progress of Poesy," the strophe, which dwelt in triumphant accents on the
beauty, power and ecstasy verse, is answered by the antistrophe, in a depressed
and melancholy key:
- "Man's feeble race what ills await,
- Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
- Disease and Sorrow's weeping Train,
- And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate," etc.
When the sections of the chorus have ended their responses, they unite and
close in the epode, thus exemplifying the
triple m in which the ancient sacred hymns of Greece were coined, from the days
of Stesichorus onwards. As Milton says, "strophe,
antistrophe and epode were a kind of
stanza framed for the music then used
with the chorus that sang."
- This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopędia
Britannica, a publication in the public domain.
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