And ode provides a compelling description of an object and, sometimes, the poet’s relationship to it. An apostrophe means a speaker directly addresses a person or an object in a poem.
Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel 1565
A much-traveled print, framed in green,
found in a drawer when a family
sorted the leavings of a thoughtful life;
art their mother liked deserved a home.
Carried through Wyoming’s expansive night,
jumbled in a truck with other displaced goods,
a master’s rendition of a scene familiar from
Christmas cards and books of art:
Encompassing snow, swoop-roofed cottages
spires and crags, river and rounded hills, trees
where magpies watch over a village astir and
ice flattens the pond, freezes the motion of the mill;
Three hunters—leather leggings, caps, tunics —
silently trudge with slender spears of wood
a single fox hung from a slumping back above
slinking thin dogs, weary from a useless hunt.
She hung it in a corner and studied it
through the years — What did my mother see
in you? Did she wonder, as I do, whether the
hunters and their children knew hunger that night?
Would she like what I’ve become?