Muse


Muse

Every poet finds their own muse – the irresistible figure that draws the artist (author, writer) toward the light of creativity. To some, muse is a guardian spirit or force who is a source of inspiration for creativity.

Calliope

The word muse comes from the Greek mousai, and refers to the goddesses of creativity and the arts.

A muse serves as a wellspring of inspiration for their partner. They ignite a sense of wonder and fascination, making their partner feel alive and motivated to pursue their passions and creative interests.

Though contemporary professional writers might not open with a formal invocation, the process of summoning an inner Muse, breaking through writer’s block, and finding artistic inspiration in our daily lives is just as important as ever.

The word muse dates back to Greek mythology, with Zeus’ daughters forming the nine Muses, under the guidance of Apollo, who presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences: Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry ~ Clio, the Muse of History ~ Erato, the Muse of love poetry ~ Euterpe, the Muse of music ~ Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy ~ Polyhymnia, the Muse of hymns ~ Terpsichore, the Muse of dance ~ Thalia, the Muse of comedy ~ and Urania/Ourania, the Muse of astronomy.

Calliope is the oldest of the Muses and the Muse of epic poetry and eloquence. The writer Hesiod emphasized Calliope’s high status amongst the Muses, noting that she “walked amongst kings.”

As the protector of epic poetry, Calliope is said to have inspired Homer (below) in writing the Iliad and the Odyssey.

“Sing to me now, you Muses who hold the halls of Olympus! You are goddesses, you are everywhere, you know all things—all we hear is the distant ring of glory, we know nothing. Who were the captains of Achaea, who were the kings? The mass of troops, I could never tally, never name, not even if I had ten tongues and ten mouths, a tireless voice and a heart inside me bronze, never unless you Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus whose shield is rolling thunder, sing, sing in memory all who gathered under Troy.” — Homer, The Iliad

Calliope by Charles Meynier, a French painter of historical subjects in the late 18th and early 19th century.

  • The word “Muse” is often used to describe an inspiration or influence behind a poem.
  • A Muse is a source of inspiration, a state of dreaming while awake, a vivid mental image, especially a fanciful one of the future, and a guardian spirit.
  • As a verb, to Muse is to consider something thoughtfully.
  • As a noun, Muse means a person — especially a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration.
  • In modern figurative usage, a Muse is a literal person or supernatural force that serves as someone’s source of artistic inspiration.
  • From “muse” we get the word “museum”, a place where creativity is beautifully displayed.
  • The word music is thought to have derived from the Greek word ‘mousike’ meaning ‘Art of the Muses’
  • Muse can also refer to thinking deeply. If you muse about something, you’re giving it serious thought. You can’t muse in five seconds. People muse on certain ideas for years.
  • Today, a muse is a person who serves as an artist’s inspiration. Filmmakers often talk about a certain actor being a muse — meaning the actor inspired a movie. Writers, painters, musicians, and other artists have muses.
  • A creative Muse is any source of inspiration you rely on to enrich your writing life and provide you with creative ideas for your next writing project.
  • This concept of Muse is often invoked by many real-life creators by attributing a real-life person special to them as their “personal muse.” Usually occurs with a female Muse for a male creator, but the inverse (or a combination thereof) is not too uncommon. If said woman is an actress, she’ll be cast in the main female role in every one of the director’s movies, at least until their relationship breaks down.
  • As a verb, to Muse is to consider something thoughtfully. As a noun, it means a person — especially a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration. In mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences. Today, a muse is a person who serves as an artist’s inspiration.
  • A Muse serves as a wellspring of inspiration for their partner. They ignite a sense of wonder and fascination, making their partner feel alive and motivated to pursue their passions and creative interests.

The Kiss of the Muse by Paul Cezanne
St. Matthew And The Angel by Rembrandt
The Poet And His Muse by Alexandre Cabanel

Cats have served as muses for centuries inspiring many authors resulting in great works of literature. – Jean-Paul Satre

Most people wait for the muse to turn up. That’s terribly unreliable. I have to sit down and pursue the muse by attempting to work. ― Nick Cave

I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better. ― Oroma Elewa

To feed your Muse, then, you should always have been hungry about life since you were a child. If not, it is a little late to start. ― Ray Bradbury

If I ever saw my muse she would be an old woman with a tight bun and spectacles poking me in the middle of the back and growling, “Wake up and write the book!”― Kerry Greenwood

To be loved by a writer is to be a muse. ― Kaitlan C. Farrior

This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete. ― Steven Pressfield

Write me a poem.
Write me several poems.
A muse me.

N’Zuri Za Austin

Muse on this: the word muse from French muser, means: “to gape, to idle, to muse.” (amuse has the same source.) The image of a muse evoked that of a thinker so absorbed in thought as to be unconsciously open-mouthed. Those who muse on their pets’ musings might like to know that muser is from Latin: musus, meaning “mouth of an animal”—also source of the word muzzle.