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.
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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 don’t 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 they’d 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 I’d share a gruesome horror poem I’d written with friends, who know me as something other than a poet, they’d ask me, rather worriedly, where I came up with such strange ideas. Rather than taking the easy way out and verbally abuse a muse, I’d spend time puzzling out potential connections and almost always could point to real live people who’d added their threads to my warp and weft. I’d 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 it’s often been said I should forget more easily than I’m 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 it’s a different spin on the ‘You can fool some of the people some of the time’ adage. In the strictest confidence, I sometimes wish they’d explain my poetry to me because I’m 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 won’t 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 Jung’s 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 wouldn’t be able to convince anyone else.
Or perhaps, it’s all about reincarnation and poets, are like other entities that just keep on coming around one more time ad infinitum. This conclusion is how I’m 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.
I’m not certain if it’s 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 it’s, with no fantastical fanfare, me, myself and I. If I want to step up to the podium to accept the accolades I’m going to have to take the tomatoes too.
Ergo it’s ego and no muse is good muse.
"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo