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Epode ( Greek  ἐπῳδός epōdós , "Nachgesang", "Endegesang") originally referred to the last part in ancient Greek three-part choral songs and hymns , whereby the first two parts, the stanza and the antistrophe , are metrically similar, while the epode usually has a different metric form Has. One speaks here of periodic epodes . Examples are Pindar's Epinicias . In the baroque era, the shape of Weckherlin and Gryphius was copied.

In contrast, the second, shorter verse in a distich is called Stichische Epode (but not in the elegiac distichon ) or the distichon itself is called a distichic epode . Often here are hexameters or iambic trimeters followed by iambic dimeter .

Finally , stanzas and poems written in these changing meters are also referred to as epodes. The invention is attributed to the poet Archilochus , after whom the Archiloch stanza is named. Archilochus and Hipponax used the form for invective , which is why the distichic epode was assigned to the iambic and later both the Hellenistic poet Callimachos and the Roman Horace called their epodes Iambi .

The epodes of Horace, who introduced the form into Latin poetry, are best known today . The collection of 17 poems appeared in the 30s of the 1st century BC. In addition to purely iambic forms (the first 10 poems are iambic trimeters / dimeters; No. 17 is a pure trimeter) also uses other meters, for example dactylic hexameter and tetrameter (No. 12), iambic measures and hexameter (No. 13 –16) as well as Iambus and Elegiambus (No. 11).

In modern poetry, the form was used by Rudolf Borchardt in his poem Nomina Odiosa (1935), which was directed against the National Socialists .