Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 32: Ode: Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds

by James McIntyre

lesson image

We have seen the Queen of cheese,

Laying quietly at your ease,

Gently fanned by evening breeze --

Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you'll go

To the great Provincial Show,

To be admired by many a beau

In the city of Toronto.

Cows numerous as a swarm of bees --

Or as the leaves upon the trees --

It did require to make thee please,

And stand unrivalled Queen of Cheese.

May you not receive a scar as

We have heard that Mr. Harris

Intends to send you off as far as

The great World's show at Paris.

Of the youth -- beware of these --

For some of them might rudely squeeze

And bite your cheek; then songs or glees

We could not sing o' Queen of Cheese.

We'rt thou suspended from balloon,

You'd cast a shade, even at noon;

Folks would think it was the moon

About to fall and crush them soon.

    Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 32: Ode: Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds

by James McIntyre


Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read the poem each day.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Read about the poetic form.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


Poet James McIntyre emigrated from Scotland and ended up living in Canada's dairy country. He wrote "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds" in honor of an enormous chuck of cheese exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Britain.


Poems often adhere to specific poetic forms, defined as 'poems following distinct sets of rules.'

The nine poetic forms we'll study include the:

  1. Sijo: A lyrical Korean poetic form of three long lines.
  2. Haiku: A Japanese poem of three lines and a total of seventeen syllables.
  3. Limerick: A humorous poem of five lines and the rhyming scheme AABBA, typically having syllables of 9–9–6–6–9.
  4. Sonnet: A poetic form of fourteen lines that follow one of a few common rhyming schemes.
  5. Epitaph: A poem honoring the deceased, engraved on a burial marker or tomb.
  6. Acrostic: A poem where particular letter spell out a secret message, often the first letter of each line.
  7. Visual: A poem written in such a way that the lines form a pattern, usually related to the subject-matter of the poem.
  8. Ode: A poem honoring and/or celebrating something or someone.
  9. Blank Verse

Odes generally follow these rules:

  1. Written to praise someone or something
  2. Follow a rhyming scheme (e.g. AABBCC)


Activity 1: Recite the Poem Title, Poet Name, and Poem

  • Each day this week, recite aloud the title of the poem, the name of the poet, and the poem.

Activity 2: Study the Poem Picture

Study the poem picture and describe how it relates to the poem.

Activity 3: Narrate the Poem

  • After reading the poem, narrate the poem concepts aloud using your own words.

Activity 4: Map the Poem

  • The huge hunk of cheese featured in the poem traveled to Canada, the United States, and Britain (the United Kingdom).
  • Find these countries on the map of the world.

Activity 5: Complete Book Activities   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 35 of 'Elementary Poetry 6: Poetic Forms.'


  1. 'James McIntyre (poet).' Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. n.p.