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Prior to discovering the joys of poetry writing, my exposure to writers was limited to the books I read from time to time. When I began expanding my range of acquaintances to include bards and sages, I quickly came across a curious habit. When poets were at a loss for words they often claimed their muse had abandoned them.

I have to say that no matter how dreadful a penned poem of mine is I am not going to blame a muse. Often an individual will inspire a poetic thought and I dont discount the advantage I had of working nights when phantoms seem almost visible as they breezed past my outpost. I used to handle letters too and am sure there is something magical about the miles traveled between readers. At Christmas theyd even sprinkle glitter trails across the work floor. There are many threads out there to be gathered up and spun into something which is uniquely my voice.

When Id share a gruesome horror poem Id written with friends, who know me as something other than a poet, theyd ask me, rather worriedly, where I came up with such strange ideas. Rather than taking the easy way out and verbally abuse a muse, Id spend time puzzling out potential connections and almost always could point to real live people whod added their threads to my warp and weft. Id already known that Penelope means weaver and I wonder if my parents had subliminal premonitions.

I became quite curious about these muses because I am fundamentally a spiritual person who dreams in vivid hues. As a person named Penelope, I was pleased to discover muses hail from Greek mythology and were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. It was an easy link for me to associate with memory because its often been said I should forget more easily than Im prone to do. Unbeknownst to me, as a mere mortal, poets relied on their memories before there was text to pour over. I tap secret codes out on keys as my mind seems hard wired to my flying fingertips and then have to force myself back through the maze to see if I am making any sense whatsoever. This is less arduous with poetry because some people always seem to get it. Perhaps its a different spin on the You can fool some of the people some of the time adage. In the strictest confidence, I sometimes wish theyd explain my poetry to me because Im not always sure I knew what I meant but it sounded so good at the time.

Nine muses led me to the connection to nine lives, cat of nine tails and that they were prone to move around a lot and had several sacred hang outs. Sacrifices made to them were sustaining water, milk and honey which is comforting but seem to lack the soul and bones I keep hearing about.

Pegasus, while on Mount Helicon was cared for by the muses. Which takes me on a carousel spinning off another bon mot. If muses were horses, poets would fly. I could go on and on about the items I discovered while investigating muses on the internet but if you care, it will be just as simple for you to do so and you wont get my mangled interpretations which are layered with personal information something like shredded wheat or baklava for those with a hankering for a more Grecian formula.

On another tack, writing poetry could be all about Karl Jungs dreamy symbolic psychoanalysis which needs to be explained by someone much better versed in such things. When I read about it, I knew it must be right but probably wouldnt be able to convince anyone else.

Or perhaps, its all about reincarnation and poets, are like other entities that just keep on coming around one more time ad infinitum. This conclusion is how Im able to explain the madness of War and Peace factions and distractions to myself. If it helps you too, please feel free to adopt it as there is no copyright on the idea.

Im not certain if its my pride or sense of self determination which establishes my belief regarding who, or what, is ultimately responsible for what I write and when, but I think its, with no fantastical fanfare, me, myself and I. If I want to step up to the podium to accept the accolades Im going to have to take the tomatoes too.

Ergo its ego and no muse is good muse.

------
"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo


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The following comments are for "No Cues From A Muse"
by Pen

loyalty
Yes, she did but to fend off suitors so as to remain true to her husband Odysseus. I always saw that as a loyalty issue and recognizing what the suitors really were after. At the end there was an archery contest to win the hand of Penelope and Odysseus who had finally returned [in a disguise] won and revealed himself to his wife. I doubt I'd have had such staying power to wait for a husband who had such a wanderlust but I value loyalty a great deal. I read the Illiad when I was 13 and of course one of the reasons I did was because of my given name.

Isn't the music muse Calliope? Lovely name that.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 9, 2011 )

of muse and memory
Penelope,
This was a highly enjoyable read, as were the comments.

I believe Calliope was the muse of eloquent language and poetry, if recall from studies long ago..one of many goddesses of song and dance.

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: February 9, 2011 )

musings on muses
Calliope/Kalliope
This Greek mythology is a wonderful distraction!

Thanks for the input Bobby!

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 9, 2011 )

amused..
Penelope,
wasn't too far off..

The Greeks were an (a)musing bunch.

"..no muse is good muse"..

salute

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

Love Your Muses
Of course, we ignore any Muse at our peril. There were and remain 9 of them, and it is very important that we follow their rules in our quest for the best poetry, music or any form of art.

One immpportant rule is to always capitolize the word Muse, and each of their names. Working without a Muse always shows, and we see many examples right here on Lit.org.

Another rule the Muses have is attempting to sound like another, more successful writer, it does not work and Muses frown on it. They want you to sound like yourself, they see the talent and ability in you, and they want to lead you into your own success.

Proclaiming that you sound like some other writer is a high sin in the world of Muses. And the biggest sin is claiming you wrote anything worthwhile without the help of any Muse.

Get to know your Muses, some of them will go all aout for you even if you are a jerk, as long as you give them the credit. Some have even been known to hop into the sack with you just to get you started. (I need this myself sometimes.)

The last rule, I think, is that there are no boy Muses. You have to go straight to Zeus, and he ain't gay, neither.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

veebdosa
Now these points of yours are worth consideration. Capitalize muse? Isn't it enough to do that to their name? I never thought of this. Of course I'm already cursed because I don't give them credit so it really doesn't matter to me. No male muses .. yes .. that's what they say. Nine and all female.
Thank you for your post here. Good ideas from within the ball park.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

musings on muses
Good writing Pen!
Do you as writers believe you are a vessel for an entity, the muse, something greater than ourselves, that channels creativity through you? In some ways, this belief is freeing because it takes the onus off of the writer. That what one produces is not solely dependent on the individual but part of something bigger than ourselves.

Pen you state, it's you who are the basis of what you write. I would argue creativity basically stems from our own individual voice, mind, experiences, dreams, and thoughts. We are responsible for our own words, how we express and what we express.

Alternatively is it perhaps a combination of both?

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

bouquets and brickbats
It's the way I look at it Sandra. I've never believed that I have no inspirations but usually can pinpoint where the ideas have come from.

My best poem IMO Bazaar Shades Of Sorrow which was published in print and for money in Dead Men [and Women] Walking had many contributors to my idea.
Athena Workman - A former regular on this site who specialized in dark poetry of a dreamy quality and who graciously allowed me to be her poetry editor when she ran her site - Lost In The Dark and was looking for help. I volunteered and learned so much in the process.
gomarsoap - A former regular on this site. He told me about the former resident artist at Paint By Numbers who was a survivor of the Holocaust.
Lucie [windchime] A regular here again! So glad to see her back!
She shared a couple of stories with me that also had an impact.
However, the poem was my creation and totally my idea. All of them will agree with my declaration too.
So, for me it's not a muse at all. It's life and having an open inquiring mind and a deep respect for those who might not share my heritage but have tremendous value in the grand scheme of things.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

@ Sandra
Quote:
Id spend time puzzling out potential connections and almost always could point to real live people whod added their threads to my warp and weft. Id already known that Penelope means weaver and I wonder if my parents had subliminal premonitions.

In regards to your comment and what I failed to include in my post above. I agree with your position and stated it too. :-)

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

tomatoes and accolades
Hi Pen, I respect your view. Would you say you are a realist?

I've gotten my share of tomatoes and accolades too. And I take credit for the good and maybe not so good things I've written!

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

Reading comprehension
I do not think either is correct, not individually or collectively. We have to condition our minds, and Muses is part of the conditioning, I think the single most important part.

A huge part of the problem here at lit.org, as I see it, is first, the crybaby syndrom is so overpowereing and present. The next problem is the reading comprehension is so low amongst the membership.
WE SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO READ.

Now that is a mouthfull and probably an eyebrow raiser.

I will use Pen as an example, because after reading some of her "rants" as lit org calls them, bits of wisdom in my book, I know Pen can take criticism and do it very gracefully.

But, she has said 2 or 3 places something questioning my study of poetry in France, I honestly do not know where she got that idea, because I have said or claimed it no-where.

However, and this is the important element of this rebutale, it means nothing that she mis-interprets my academic affairs in France because she is attempting to make a valid point. For the record, however, I am sure that she read something from the back cover of my book and then her own mind put in the bit about studying poetry in France, which I never did and which I neverclaimed to have done. Merci beau coups.
LOL

I did, however, study Creative (English) Writing in Poiteirs, France, and came out with a very high grade. I studied Art and Art History, and increased my high grade to an A Average. SoulestVous gendarmez LOL
But that is exactly what I mean as the reading commprehension is very low here.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

@ Sandra
No, I'm an idealist through and through which is why I continue to hold on to hope when it comes to lost causes. Criticism which has merit helps us grow if we embrace it. Pointless drivel or off topic slams help us become stronger. Oooo! A win win situation!

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

veebdosa
Quote:
You studied poetry in France .... but .. but .. oh never mind.


It's where I began and then realized it was creative writing so I wrote .. never mind. Just as you see it here. I then went on to ask you why you didn't know the difference between a villanella and a villanelle - you write poetry yet you seem lost in the dark on the finer points even though you are educated.
veebdosa wrote:
However, and this is the important element of this rebutale, it means nothing that she mis-interprets my academic affairs in France because she is attempting to make a valid point.

1. rebuttal - just being helpful as I'm prone to do.
2. I am making a valid point veebdosa. You just won't learn there's a difference between a villanella and a villanelle.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

Sauceless
I used to think myself a poet, and weave words for fun. Getting off the sauce made me realize how terribly frivolous it all is in light of just how many people there are.

Moreso that there are more people without two neurons to rub together, the stark terror of which renders anything witty and imaginative I might say down to competition with useless Internet memes and who won the last Idol competition.

Muse or no, blame and excuses are but a transient refuge from the responsibility of being a creative individual. Only politicians have the luxury of spin and not owning their words.

( Posted by: Rogan [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

Rogan!
Jeez! I saw Viper9 just a second ago too! Fantastic!

Quote:
Muse or no, blame and excuses are but a transient refuge from the responsibility of being a creative individual.

couldn't agree more
Quote:
Only politicians have the luxury of spin and not owning their words.

don't agree at all .. did you hear about the anti-HSTtax campaign here in British Columbia? They had to eat their damn words and I am proud to declare I was one of the campaigners too! Over 700,000 signatures and that was with the media mocking the initiative at every turn.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

vanillavellafella
"You just won't learn there's a difference between a villanella and a villanelle. "

I do not care anything about the difference in a villabella and a villenella.

I don't even care if it is a flavor of ice cream or if it is the whupped cream and cherry on top.

I do not want to write a villanellanelle fella.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )

veebdosa
Quote:
I do not care anything about the difference in a villabella and a villenella.

off topic blather
Quote:
I do not want to write a villanellanelle fella

Thank you for responding and in such an emphatic manner too. I won't take issue with you using the wrong gender when addressing me because I know you just wanted to attempt a rhyme. Unfortunately your typos clouded your effort but I knew what you meant.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 10, 2011 )





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