My All: An Ode

Writing 201, Poetry, Day 5: Map, Ode, Metaphor

Tropical Springtime Wildflowers

My All

My Jesus, I love you

Like I love no other

You are my all in all

My Jesus you lift me

On wings of eagles

You are my all in all

When no one was with me

You cared and gave comfort

You were my all in all

To be like you, Jesus

Is my ambition

To love as you do, Lord

Is my mission

I love you, I love you, I love you Jesus

You are my all in all

The Process

I took some time coming up with this because I understand that the ode is lyrical by nature, i.e., it’s a  poem that can double as a song when not irregular. Ergo, I decided to write song lyrics instead of just a poem, which meant triple the work.

I started out with a poem. An ode is celebratory, praise or an expression of love, so it had to be about God for me. The rest needs to work for that sort of acclaim. Here’s the original poem, which was just anything that popped into my mind jotted down on paper:

Ode to Jesus

My Jesus, I love you

Like no other

No one can compare

You are my all

When no one was there

You were my all

To be like you

Is my ambition

To love as you do

Is my mission

I love you, I love you, I love you

You are my all in all

Bonus points if you get the trinity reference.

This was okay, but it wasn’t metered. I’d planned to use a metronome for metering, but a massive thunderstorm in the afternoon knocked out the electricity and after that I simply couldn’t be bothered, so it was on to plan B: I used my fingers to count the lyrical beats of songs I liked, then to count the syllables in the poem, adjusting the wording as necessary to get threes, fours and sixes. This meant I had to get out my pen and paper and rewrite the poem. Once the lyrics looked okay on paper, it was time to polish everything up: how would they sound when sung?

The electricity was back, so I used a Yahama keyboard as it doesn’t seem to care that I know next to nothing about music.

Elise waiting for me to attempt to play "Fur Elise."
Elise waiting for me to attempt to play “Fur Elise.”

I pushed the “music database” button and started with the first thing that popped up, “Hey Jude.” I started singing (wailing?) in the rain and managed to wake up pretty much the entire neighbourhood, which ended up working to my advantage as I got lots of unsolicited feedback.

I sang and played random notes until a tune started to emerge. Any awkward lyrics became obvious and corrections were made. I added lines and made changes until the song felt smooth to my ears.

I then proceeded to turn the music selection wheel and played many different styles and keys until I finally hit what sounded like song jackpot. If you want to try it at home, I settled on music database item no. 33, “YesterBd,” and played in what I believe was the key of F (major).

Sweet.

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5 thoughts on “My All: An Ode

  1. I like both versions, though I’m drawn to the original. The poems certainly read like lyrics. Have you set them to music? Maybe Elise could help. In the photo, she looks accomplished. Thank you for sharing your work! Hah! “Fur Elise.” I just got that. And the three “I love you”s–that’s for the Trinity?

    1. Thank you for the feedback. You’re right about the trinity reference. Elise is a bit busy for music right now. She has three gorgeous kittens, so I’m in the process of setting the lyrics to music on my own, though I’m blessed to be in that special place on earth where professional help is literally everywhere. I’ll update when it’s done.

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