Monday, June 30, 2008


Though I mostly employ a computer key
My collection of pens also comforts me.
They are always on alert
In the pocket of my shirt
With blue and black ink
To help me think
To compose with
Wonderful words
That flutter from my head
Like happy birds.

I also use a
mechanical pencil
To compose
Poetic Muse
Purple Prose.

Purple Prose Sentences:
A more recent author famous for purple prose is Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73), who begins his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the sentence:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Poetic Muse Specified

In Greek mythology, the Muses (Ancient Greek αἱ μοῦσαι, hai moũsai [1]: perhaps from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- "think"[2]) are a sisterhood of goddesses or spirits, their number set at nine by Classical times, who embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance. They were water nymphs, associated with the springs of Helicon and with Pieris, from which they are sometimes called the Pierides. The Olympian system set Apollo as their leader, Apollon Mousagetēs. Not only are the Muses explicitly used in modern English to refer to an inspiration, as when one cites his/her own artistic muse, but they are also implicit in the words "amuse" or "musing upon".[3]
According to Hesiod's Theogony (seventh century BC), they are the daughters of Zeus, king of the gods, and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. For Alcman and Mimnermus, they were even more primordial, springing from Uranus and Gaia. Pausanias records a tradition of two generations of Muses; the first being daughters of Uranus and Gaia, the second of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Another, rarer genealogy is that they are daughters of Harmonia (the daughter of Aphrodite and Ares) which contradicts the myth in which they were dancing at the wedding of Harmonia and Cadmus.
Compare the Roman inspiring nymphs of springs, the Camenae, the Völva of Norse Mythology and also the apsarasa in the culture of classical India.
Greek mousa is a common noun as well as a type of goddess: it literally means "song" or "poem". In Pindar, to "carry a mousa" is "to sing a song". The word is probably derived from the Indo-European root men-, which is also the source of Greek Mnemosyne, and English "mind", "mental" and "memory" (or alternatively from mont-, "mountain", due to their residence on Mount Helicon, which is less likely in meaning, but somewhat more likely linguistically).
The Muses were therefore both the embodiments and sponsors of performed metrical speech: mousike, whence "music", was "the art of the Muses". In the archaic period, before the wide-spread availability of books, this included nearly all of learning: the first Greek book on astronomy, by Thales, was set in dactylic hexameter, as were many works of pre-Socratic philosophy; both Plato and the Pythagoreans explicitly included philosophy as a sub-species of mousike[6] Herodotus, whose primary medium of delivery was public recitation, named each one of the nine books of his Histories after a different Muse, invoked at the outset.
For poet and "law-giver" Solon[7] the Muses were "the key to the good life"; since they brought both prosperity and friendship. Solon sought to perpetuate his political reforms by establishing recitations of his poetry—complete with invocations to his practical-minded Muses—by Athenian boys at festivals each year. It was believed that they would help inspire people to do their best.
The muses are typically invoked at or near the beginning of an epic poem or classical Greek hymn. They have served as aids to an author of prose, too, sometimes represented as the true speaker, for whom an author is only a mouthpiece.[8] Originally, the invocation of the Muse was an indication that the speaker was working inside the poetic tradition, according to the established formulas. Six classic examples :
Homer, in Book I of The Odyssey:
"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy." (Robert Fagles translation, 1996)
Virgil, in Book I of the Aeneid:
O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate;
What goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate;
For what offense the Queen of Heav'n began
To persecute so brave, so just a man; [...]
(John Dryden translation, 1697)
Catullus, in Carmen I:
"And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is,
and whatever sort, oh patron Muse
let it last for more than one generation, eternally."

The Muse-poet

The British poet Robert Graves popularised the concept of the Muse-poet in modern times based on pre-twelfth century traditions of the Celtic poets, on the tradition of the medieval troubadours who celebrated the concept of courtly love and the romantic poets.
"No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman in whom the Goddess is to some degree resident; just as no Apollonian poet can perform his proper function unless he lives under a monarchy or a quasi-monarchy. A Muse-poet falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him the embodiment of the Muse...
But the real, perpetually obsessed Muse-poet distinguishes between the Goddess as manifest in the supreme power, glory, wisdom and love of woman, and the individual woman whom the Goddess may make her instrument...
The Goddess abides; and perhaps he will again have knowledge of her through his experience of another woman...[9]

[edit] The "Tenth Muse"

The poet Sappho of Lesbos was given the compliment of being called "the tenth Muse" by Plato. The phrase has become a somewhat conventional compliment paid to female poets since.
In Callimachus' "Aetia", the poet refers to Queen Berenike, wife of Ptolemy II, as a "Tenth Muse", dedicating both the 'Coma Berenikes' and the 'Victoria Berenikes' in Books III-IV.
French critics have acclaimed a series of dixième Muses who were noted by William Rose Benet in The Reader's Encyclopedia (1948): Marie Lejars de Gournay (1566-1645), Antoinette Deshoulières (1633-1694), Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701) and Delphine Gay (1804-1855).
Anne Bradstreet, a Puritan poet of New England, was honored in with this title with the publishing of her poems in London in 1650, in a volume titled by the publisher The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America.... This was also the first ever published volume of American poetry.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a Mexican poet, is well known in the Spanish literary world as the tenth muse.
Gabriele D'Annunzio's 1920 Constitution for the Free State of Fiume was based around the nine muses, and invoked Energeia (energy) as "the tenth Muse".
In 1924 Karol Irzykowski published a monograph on cinematography entitled "The Tenth Muse" ("Dziesiąta muza"). Analyzing silent film, he pronounced his definition of cinema: "It is the visibility of man's interaction with reality".
The comic book superhero Emma Sonnet (and later Lyxandra) from the Bluewater Productions series Tenth Muse is based on the idea of a fictional muse representing justice.
Mark Twain referred to a lie as the tenth muse in his essay On the Decay of the Art of Lying.
Gradiva 'the woman who walks through walls' is the muse of Surrealism. (Nadeau, Maurice, A History of Surrealism, orig.1965, various publishers)
Shakespeare's Sonnet 38 invokes the Tenth Muse:[10]
"How can my Muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument?"
the poet asks, and in the opening of the sestet calls upon his muse:
"Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate."


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