Tuesday, August 25, 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

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  1. This is so true, Rose Marie. When I write, I lose myself - troubles and cares are subsumed by the creative urge. They do not disappear but rather becomea part of creation. Thank you for reminding me of Hesiod. I hadn't thought of him in years.

  2. Creativity is a gift of divine proportions.

  3. Hi Rose Marie-

    Lovely words and images. I feel intimately revealed. I once had a very dear friend - we came to one another during desperate times - and we loved one another truly and deeply. We explored if we could express our love sexually and I could not. As I look at this painting and read your poem I am saddened some because such an expression of our love would have been glorious - in my mind it IS glorious - only in my mind. I see myself and I see her in the painting. "Thank you" for a most intimate memory of a time long ago yet easily awakened.
    Love Gail

  4. I can hear this being read in a Victorian parlour after dinner. It has a lovely quality of serenity and beauty.


  5. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment.
    I love your blog and this poem is inspirational.

  6. Rose Marie, your poetry is such an inspiration!
    Loved this one!
    Thank you!


  7. We should be eternally grateful to our many muses! Thank-you for your inspiration!

  8. oh to give over to the muse and enjoy the current of her river.

  9. Dear

    Creation's call be ever heard
    And we the bloggers share our word
    Heed wise the Muse, your counsel of soul
    God’s blessings to mark your goal.

    Gratitude to all,

    Rose Marie

  10. Gail,

    In many a way love seeks TRUTH. Each poem I write is an exploration of experience, perception, and the ever present quest to understand life, self and relationships. There have been a number of poetry posts that have prompted an unveiling of self, soul and spirit, a number that have rekindled a vision, and others that have been of comfort and others deemed inspiring. We want to be known to ourselves. We want to be validated in the depth and significance of our feelings. I feel honored that you and others have shared yourselves so openly. There is a trust and a respect that is honored as well.

    Blessings and light,

    Rose Marie