Since my muse keeps disappearing into the thin air of her own accord, God knows where she’s been during these intermittent breaks, not unlike the commercial breaks we have on the black goggle box. A bit more of information is thus needed, a bit more material on this obscure topic regarding the Grecian Muses, or more generally, the Muses that all writers or poets have come to regard their inspirations as.
Whenever we face writer’s block, or whatever you call them, we would often exclaim that our muses have gone into hiding, which I admit I oft did it. Yes, yes, I see you all murmuring. I can’t write that well or that often as compared to my other accomplices on Darkness itself. Amazingly, they seem to churn out one or two every week, most of the times more than that. And they are really gifted beings as well, graced with the ability to turn words into the most beautiful things that there ever are on this very Earth. Limericks, ballads, poems, freeform prose, fanfics, you name it, they do it.
What is your conception of your Muse? What does she look like? To most people, the Muse ought to be a lady dressed in ivory robes and all, with alabaster complexion, her facial features shart and refined. looking not very unlike Venus herself. But Robert Graves, the British poet and novelist, equates the muse with the Triple Goddess of the ancient Celts: she who wields the power of life and death, inspiring awe and fear, love and lust in everyone who sees her. Of course, the link above only mentions one aspect of the Triple Goddess, and perhaps what Graves meant is that we see only one aspect of her, the Maiden Aspect.
Graves had also described her:
“The [muse] is a lovely, slender woman with a hooked nose, deathly pale face,
lips red as rowan-berries, startlingly blue eyes and long fair hair…”
On a second thought, I don’t think my Muse has a hooked nose though. Perhaps what we all see in our Muses is all our idealized vision of our dream lover, the one that is beyond reach to us. The Pre-Raphaelite painters sought out this idealized representation of the muse in real women and painted her over and over. John Keats, who was one of England’s greatest poets and a key figure in the Romantic Movement, was known especially for his love of the country and sensuous descriptions of the beauty of nature. In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci“, he described a fatal encounter with the muse.
The Arthurian Legends celebrates her multiple faces in the form of Guinevere and Morgan Le Fey. However, all these descriptions are only limited to who was penning down those great ballads at that time. If a woman saw a muse, it appears in the form of the man, in India, her hair would be black and in Africa, her skin is dark.
Robin Frederick had also described an encounter with the muse as:
I would bet that you remember a love-that-got-away, an early experience, possibly your first brush with real love, that lives on in memory surrounded by a deep well of emotion. Sometimes it’s a person you met only briefly but you can never forget. You clearly recall the first time you saw that person and how you felt at that moment as if it were happening now. The image you keep inside is surrounded with a special quality of light – a luminous glow that is not present in other memories. The image sometimes comes to you in dreams. There is something magical and transformative about it. This is the face of the muse; it’s as simple and as deep as that. The statement that truly reveals the presence of a muse is: “Everything I did, I did for you.”
And this, is the image of the Dream Lover, which is not exclusive as you can find references to it in all forms of literature and language
It seems I am running out of space, and my readers are having a dearth of attention span. And therefore, I shall restrict my verbiage to such and let them have a kind break from my mad ramblings here. Mayhap I will continue in the next post. Until then.