MichaelEmeryArt

The Muse

"The Muse is to sought out,maybe imagined,yet never to be touched,only seen in our Dreams"-me

What is a muse?

Many songs (including my own) are about the relationship between the poet and the muse, those luminous, unobtainable beings that inspire unquenchable yearning. In a society obsessed with acquiring material goods, with having the latest, owning the largest, we don’t give much thought to muses. After all, you can never possess the muse. Of what use, then, could it possibly be in our society?

Most people think of the muse as an elegant figure in flowing robes frozen on some Grecian urn, the exclusive property of painters and writers of long ago. Robert Graves, the British poet and novelist, equates the muse with the White Goddess or Triple Goddess of the ancient Celts: she who wields the power of life and death, inspiring awe and fear, love and lust in everyone with eyes to see her. But most people, I think, have seen her without realizing who she was.

In his book The White Goddess, Robert Graves is very specific in his description of the muse: “The muse is a lovely, slender woman with a deathly pale face, lips red as rowan-berries, startlingly blue eyes and long fair hair…” But this portrait is far too limited. Every poet finds his or her own muse – the irresistible figure that draws the artist toward the light of creativity.

Astarte the MuseThe Pre-Raphaelite painters sought out this idealized representation of the muse in realwomen and painted them again and again. Keats described a fatal encounter with her in his poem “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” The legend of King Arthur celebrates her multiple faces in the figures of Guinevere and Morgan Le Fey. The experience of the muse is universal; you will find references to her in the poetry and songs of all languages. In India her hair is black, in Africa her skin is dark. The muse is not always female, either. There are poems, paintings, songs, and novels inspired by male muses, too.-robinfrederick.com

Another way of looking at the term "Muse"


I came across this while researching "History of Dye" :

MERCER, JOHN (1791–1866), calico-printer and chemist, was born on 21 Feb. 1791 at Dean, in the parish of Great Harwood, near Blackburn. His father, Robert Mercer (whose family had been established in the district for at least 250 years), was at the time a hand-loom weaver; he soon after gave up this occupation and took a farm in the neighbourhood of Great Harwood, where John passed his early years. In 1800 Robert Mercer died, leaving his wife and family with small means; at the age of nine John became first a bobbin-winder, and then a hand-loom weaver. At ten a workman in a print-works taught him reading, writing, and arithmetic. He also learnt to play on several instruments, and gave much time to music, to which he remained keenly sensitive through life. When he served as a militiaman, a few years later, he was known as ‘Awkward John,’ and he was transferred to the band. In 1807 his future career was decided by seeing on his infant half-brother a dress of an orange-colour, which ‘set him all on fire to learn dyeing.’ He straightway bought all the dyeing materials he could procure, and, having by a long series of experiments learnt to dye in most colours, he set up in partnership with a man who had suitable premises, and they ‘dyed for Great Harwood and the surrounding country;’ the material operated on consisting chiefly of the remnants which were at that time the perquisites of the hand-loom weavers. In September 1809 Mercer gave up this business, despite its success, to become an apprentice in the colour-shop of the Oakenshaw print-works on the invitation of the owners, Messrs. Fort Bros. But the jealousy of a foreman prevented him from acquiring any real knowledge of the processes employed; and he therefore, in the following year, accepted the surrender of his indentures offered by his masters, who were forced by commercial distress, due to the Berlin decrees, to reduce their staff. Mercer again became a hand-loom weaver, and invented many ingenious designs in weaving. He also gave much attention to the study of mathematics, in which he was helped by an excise surveyor named Lightfoot. In 1813 he became deeply religious and joined the Wesleyans. In the same year he became engaged to Mary Wolstenholme, whom he married on 17 April 1814.

The "Colors" became Awkward John's, Muse