Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hesiod and the Muse

Touched by the muses of inspiring springs
Such flow of thought to heart they bring
The wind a whispering song ever sweet
A knowing across time to entreat
And answered be in silent splendor
To beauty and truth thy soul surrender
A vision held with knowing clear
And banished be illusion's fear.

Rose Marie Raccioppi

"...Happy is he whom the Muses love: sweet flows speech from his mouth. For though a man have sorrow and grief in his newly-troubled soul and live in dread because his heart is distressed, yet, when a singer, the servant of the Muses, chants the glorious deeds of men of old and the blessed gods who inhabit Olympus, at once he forgets his heaviness and remembers not his sorrows at all; but the gifts of the goddesses soon turn him away from these."

The Theogony of Hesiod
composed circa 700 BC.
translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914

Hesiod worked as a shepherd in the mountains, as a youth, and then, as a small peasant on a hard land when his father died. While tending his flock on Mt. Helicon, the Muses appeared to Hesiod in a mist. This mystical experience impelled him to write epic poetry. Hesiod's major works are Theogony, Works and Days, and Shield of Herakles.

Hesiod and the Muse, Gustave Moreau, 1891, Oil on canvas 23 1/4" x 13 1/2", Musee d 'Orsay, Paris


  1. Loved your verses. Fear can be a horrid thief.

  2. This is lovely. A stunning poem that fits the stunning piece of artwork. Gorgeous.