Most poets have something that inspires them,a muse that they look to in hopes of currying her favor. By ‘worshipping’ a muse and being kind to her, poets hope that she will continue to smile upon them. In doing so, the idea is that she will continue toprovide them with the phrases and imagery to keep their writing flowing forever. The first instances of the muse is in ancient mythology, and the stories vary. In one version, there were nine muses. Each of them presided over a different form of the arts. As poets, we were awarded several. This will tell you how much importance the Greeks put on the art of poetry. We have Calliope (epic poetry), Euterpe (lyrical poetry), Thalia (pastoral poetry), Erato (love poetry), and Polyhymnia (sacred poetry). In other versions of mythology, there are only three muses, and one of those is for song—Aoide.
While there aren’t many people who still believe that the muses are actually being birthed by gods anymore, there is still a widespread acceptance of the term “muse.”The concept of a muse as inspiration has persisted in the arts community, even to this day. I don’t know if I buy into all that; however, I do understand the desire to . I am not sure how you’re supposed to get a muse on your side, but I would imagine that those suffering from writer’s block would be willing to try just about anything to get rid of it, especially the longer it persists.
I’d like to believe that I am a little more in control of my own words.
I often look to my surroundings for inspiration. Since I write mostly at night due to my work schedule, looking at the moon has often helped me find the right way to express myself. There is something about that soft white glow amid a sea of stars that can really shine a pale spotlight on the words I am searching for. It has rarely failed me, but I don’t know if I would go so far as to call the moon a muse. I consider her more of a kind teacher, providing me with the confidence and the guidance to continue on my path.
Another place that routinely inspires me is the arena of dreams. My dreams are often artistic ideas within themselves, poetry in pictures played out behind my eyes at night. I do my best to faithfully recreate these fantastical visions into words, transcribing them sometimes as if I am in a trance or speaking in tongues. I can take a still image from a dream and create an entire world around it, built out of language and memory. If I am using a broad definition of the word, I guess it is fair to say that dreams are my muse.
What about you? Do you have a person or object that inspires you? Do you call it your muse?