Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Poets: The Absent Muse

The Muses: Clio, Euterpe and Thalia

One of the frustrating things about being a poet -- other than the nearly complete absence of remuneration -- is waiting for the poem to choose me. Rarely do I sit down and decided to write a poem about a particular subject. Nearly always, a poem creeps in at the edges of consciousness, teases, perhaps throws me a line or two. And if I'm lucky and have a free moment at that exact time, I'm able to attend to the demands of the poem. It's often not the case: I'm driving, or at work, or it's the middle of the night and even the presence of a notebook and pen at the side of the bed can't entice the my slumbering body to stir enough to scribble a line or two. And then that elusive shred of inspiration evanesces, and when I'm finally in the right (write!) place to receive the muse's proffered gift, it's all but gone.

But it's confounding, to say the least. I wonder how many cotyledons of poems have shriveled while I merged/sped/toiled/snored. Books-ful, I venture to say. (Or, more modestly, files-ful.) There was a time when the months of May and June promised an onslaught of poems -- as the dormant landscape burgeoned, so did inspiration. Ensuing years have spread out the process so that I'm not quite so dependent on the late-spring/early-summer season for my annual output. But here I sit, in fully-leafed, lush and newly-mossed June, with a deadline for a poem creeping up on me, and the muse refuses to make her presence known.

(For more Tuesday Poems click here.)


  1. The muse does what she wants, doesn't she? I know what you mean!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. A lovely post on the business of writing poetry. I love the thought of all those cotyledons of lost poems ... Thank you T Clear!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.