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Muse Of Poetry

Muse Of Poetry

Who are the muse of poetry? The muses of poetry are Calliope,Thalia, Erato and Polyhymnia. Each is considered a muse of poetry in a particular genre.

Muses Of Poetry: The Gods Of Creativity

Muse of poetry


Muse Of Poetry— At one time or event, we have all heard someone mentioned the word "muse" pertaining to artist and their inspiration to create; and the hysteric myth behind their existence. It is often described as a source of ideas and creativity, one that gives their works meanings. Most times, writers, poets or artists believe that there's a supportive influence needed to write or create that perfect piece, one that brings them in parallel with their ideas. Over the years, many beliefs and old tales have surrounded the notion and the connection between an artist and his muse. 


Although not majorly contested in the modern world, muse has been a trivial and prevailing concept among artists. In the most basic sense, muse is a person who serves as an inspiration to an artist and can be primarily traced to the old Greeks mythology, "The Muses".


The muses are the nine daughters of Zeus and are regarded as the inspirational goddesses of literature, art and science in the Greek culture. Tales that made mentioned of them often related them to specific areas of art or creativity (poetry, lyric song and myth), which are also evident in their respective titles.


Also Read: Black Identity, A Poem By Lawal

The Nine Muses Of Greek Mythology

The names of the Muses and their attributes are:
  1. Calliope — the muse of epic poetry
  2. Clio — the muse of story
  3. Euterpe —  the muse of flutes and music
  4. Thalia — the muse of comedy and pastoral poetry
  5. Melpomene — the muse of tragedy
  6. Terpsichore — the muse of dance
  7. Erato — the muse of love poetry and lyric poetry
  8. Polyhymnia —  the muse of sacred poetry
  9. Urania — the muse of astronomy


The word "muse" has an unrivaled position amidst art creators, ranging from; artists, writers, musicians and many others. Hence, there's a reason to consider the meaning of the concept. What is a muse?


What Is A Muse? A Person or a Thing?

A muse, in the most basic sense, is a person who serves as an inspiration to an artist. However, Katie McCabe, the author of  More Than a Muse: Creative Partnerships That Sold Talented Women Short gives a contrary view on the notion. In the book, she describes a muse as a thing and a source.


She says:

The idea of ‘invoking the muse’ suggests a spirit, not a person...A muse supposedly provides a source of inspiration for an artist, but that ‘source’ can come in so many different forms, whether that’s posing as an artist’s model or just offering advice and support through the creative process.


In relation to poets, muse has been romanticized and celebrated among them over they years. For instance, The Italian poet Dante Alighieri, in his Divine Comedy, wrote:

"Here rise to life again, dead poetry!
Let it, O holy Muses, for I am yours,"


The Muses Of Poetry

The significant out of the nine muses to the poets are Calliope,Thalia, Erato and Polyhymnia. Each is considered a muse of poetry.

  • Calliope
Calliope is the goddess of epic poetry and the Muse of epic poetry and eloquence; so called from the ecstatic harmony of her voice. Hesiod and Ovid, two of the most recognized greek writers with authoritative works called her the "Chief of all Muses". Based on Hesiod account, she is also the wisest and most assertive of the muses. To demonstrate her eloquence and skills, she is said to have defeated the daughters of Pierus, king of Thessaly, in a singing match, and then, to punish their presumption, turned them into magpies.


Calliope usually appears in painting or portrait with a writing tablet in hand, carrying a roll of gold paper or book or wearing ahold crown.

  • Thalia
Thaleia is the goddess of comedy and the muse of  idyllic poetry. Her name"Thalia" means "flourishing", because the praises in her songs flourish through time. The muse is often portrayed as a joyous young woman wearing boot and holding a cosmic mask in her hand.

  • Erato
Erato is the muse of erotic and love poetry and the god of desire. Her name, "Erato" means "desired”, “beloved” or “lovely”. She is often portrayed, holding a musical.instrument like the kithara or the lyre  and with roses. The muse is closely related to other Greek mythology gods such as Eros, who holds the touch to light desire and; Apollo, the god of the sun and poetry die to the fact that they often appear with the same musical instruments.


A worthy mention of the god is in the story of Rhadime and Leontichus: lover who were murdered by a bittered engaged spouse, Corinth. Their tomb was called the tomb of Erato and served as a pilgrimage sight for lovers during the age of the Pausanias.

  • Polyhymnia
Polyhymnia is the goddess of hymn and the Muse of sacred poetry, sacred hymn, dance, eloquence, agriculture and pantomime. Aside this, she is also considered to be the muse of geometry and meditation. She is portrayed as a pensive, serious and meditative woman dessert in a long veil and resting her hand on a pillar. 



The attitudes surrounding the notion of muse to poets, artists and creators are dwindling in the modern time and given less recognition. Unlike, the old Greek period when more credit are being given to them. Similarly, the relationship between the muse and the artist is also contested. Based on opinion, McCabe Kate gives proper elucidation stating constructively that the relationship between the muse and the artist should be the collaboration and exchange of power and not the hoarding of it. In other words, it's about the exchange of power and not the total reliance on the authority of one for the other to exist or manifest—it's all about the connection.

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Who are the muse of poetry? The muses of poetry are Calliope,Thalia, Erato and Polyhymnia. Each is considered a muse of poetry in a particular genre.
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