Paradoxical Muse

muses 004

(work in progress, Angie, 12/13)

Paradoxical Muse

Masquerade roses change tender colours,
a mixture of hues and ambiguities,
cultivated, yet paradoxically like a wild rose.
Their petals fall too easily away from their centre.

A child’s map takes you straight
to what you really need to know,
home, park and sweet shop.

But sometimes, when the wind catches
the chimes, you sound lonely and lost.

Maybe though you’re just a triangle.
We start at one corner, move to the next,
I can’t keep up.
Just like a kid chasing after someone on a bike,
until they’ve gone.

(Angie, 12/13)

For my festive blog I decided to write about muses, probably because I’ve been reading the diaries of various female artists. My next blog will be in the New Year and perhaps it will feature a few walking reveries. Until then, I hope the muse will be with you all and I wish you all health, peace and prosperity. Thank you so much for reading. Here are a few ideas on muses….

Boyfriend with a guitar never did write me a song. I suppose it wasn’t an unreasonable daydream at the age of 18, the longing to be a muse. In Greek mythology there were nine muses. Thalia was in charge of comedy. Perhaps I had a chance to emulate her. There wasn’t a muse for farce. However, to go back to my daydream, as defined by Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, a muse is a: “…goddess or woman who inspires a poet or other creative artist.”

What was my youthful motivation? Was it an altruistic desire to be of service to the arts? Did I yearn to be part of the creative process? Did I think that if I provided inspiration I might have this reciprocated? Did I want to be immortalised? Did I need to feel that I could control someone? Was I just vain? Had I read too many books and stuffed my young head with nonsense? Did I suffer from some voyeuristic erotic fantasy? Or did I simply want someone to reassure me that I was attractive, over and over again.

I have been inspired by temporary muses myself, bonfire night sparkler types of muses. They were an unstable kind of inspiration, exhilarating at the time, but it was a relief when my mind was free again. I have no objection these days to spreading a little inspiration. However, the desire to be a full-blown muse has waned. It seems a desire that is age appropriate to the young, in more ways than one. For whilst it is fascinating to read about the famous muses, Maude Gonne, Janey Morris and Picasso’s many women, for example, it seems to me that it is the young who have time for such distraction, and time to suffer. For my reading leads me to the conclusion that the anguish in such relationships was as intense as the passion.

I’ll leave the last word to Gwen John, artist, who seems to have experienced the highs and lows of musedom through her relationship with Rodin the sculptor.


“….Today I woke unwell. I have hurried dreadfully to meet R. He did not come. I have a headache and long for the sea.”

(Gwen John Letters and Notebooks, edited by Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Tate, 2004)

Click on the link for some great muse quotations.