Before adopting the sonnet and providing one of the finest bodies in French in the form, Ronsard’s early dedication was to the Ode – bringing back to life the form as it was used by the ancients. Accordingly, his Odes vary radically in length, from short pieces to enormous multi-part works.
He showed his confidence in the first set published, also his own first published collection of poetry, under the title “The First Four Books of Odes”! This appeared in 1550 when he was 25. And yes, he did add a further book two years later, which was published alongside his first book of Amours. And, as with the Amours, he clipped, edited and added in later editions, leading to a set of Odes retranchées as well.
Perhaps his most famous poem of all is an Ode: book1 no.17, Mignonne, allons voir si la rose.
Go to the various books below: