nine greek muses

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The New Muses of Poetry


Ancient times, when I was a kid running through Greek forests, brought us nine (a magical number, like three and seven) muses with nine ungodly names:

  • Calliope (the muse of epic poetry and eloquence)
  • Clio (the muse of history)
  • Erato (the muse of love poetry and mimicry)
  • Euterpe (the muse of music)
  • Melpomene (the muse of tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (the muse of sacred poetry and religious dance)
  • Terpsichore (the muse of dance and lyric poetry)
  • Thalia (the muse of comedy and idyllic poetry)
  • Urania (the muse of astronomy)

Try remembering THOSE names. Me, I insist they wear those “Hi, My Name Is…” stickers whenever they show up for a party. And notice how many of them, among other specialties, cover forms of poetry: epic, love, sacred, lyric, and idyllic. Amusing, isn’t it? At least to poets, who are easily amused.

The problem is, these ancient Greek muses are dated, some even married. We need new blood, which is why we now have new, updated muses of poetry. And just in time, too. Terpsichore just wasn’t cutting it for me (though she does cut a mean rug when showing her moves on the dance floor).

If you want to write poetry today, then, invoke these:

  • Eutubia (the muse of viral poetry)
  • Amie (the muse of friends on Facebook who actually read your uploads)
  • Limerickia (the muse of bad poetry in public bathroom stalls)
  • Haikudzu (the muse of 17-syllable poetry in elementary classrooms)
  • Please Refrainia (the muse of bad lyrics in really bad pop music)
  • Cocoa Puffrina (the muse of backs-of-cereal-box copy)
  • Onlineia (the muse of online social network “writing”)
  • Textichore (the muse of dancing thumbs and cellphone addiction)
  • Snapia and Chatia (the twin muses of the ephemeral and the worthless)

Invoke at your own risk!