Poem Tryouts: Your Muse and You

21 May

7:39 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Cat Stevens singing Here Comes My Baby

Hullo, all. Last night, I realised I had neglected to find and adapt a prompt, a procedure that always surprises me with the length of time it takes. Instead, I am borrowing an idea based on something one of my fellow Remixers said in a Facebook comment.muse highlander

I forget the discussion, but Sonja Johanson spoke of her Muse. She described him as a 6′ 2″ blue-eyed, blond, Highlander. I replied that if I had him sitting in a corner of my mind, I’d get nothing done. During the conversation, Sonja mused [it’s the best word to use here, sorry] that it might be fun to write about a daily activity, something routine, and to engage in this activity with our Muse. What would a 6′ 2″ blue-eyed, blond, Highlander do at a salon, or changing the oil, or baking a cake, on the Metro…

Upper Dog WalkI thought this an apt moment to try this. After a week spent with your poems as metaphors, you know your own poetry even better than you did previously. Think about your Muse for a moment. What gender is your muse? Is your Muse human? Animal? Mythological? Real? A glass of wine? Amorphous [you might have problems]? If your muse is the willow tree out back, think of this as a challenge, or what it muse red_wine_pourmight look like human. Have fun.

Think about an interaction: a game of darts, baking a cake, fishing… You and your Muse doing something together besides writing poetry. You can include dialogue, or not. You can speak of yourself in the first, or third person, or even to your Muse, a reflection where you might use ‘we’ and ‘you’. Heck, your Muse can be the speaker. Consider language and tone. Consider whether a form suits your Muse, or the activity.

muse coffee_and_steamIf, to this point, you have not thought particularly of a Muse, then invent one. Go ahead: design a Muse. Really, have fun.

Write a poem.

Come back and post a link and come back again to see other’s Muses. I shall see you Thursday for links and things; Friday for the roundup of cyber prompts; and next Tuesday for an image prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 21/05/2013 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , ,

51 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Your Muse and You

  1. pmwanken

    21/05/2013 at 9:45 am

    I’m glad you said, “If, to this point, you have not thought particularly of a Muse, then invent one. Go ahead: design a Muse. Really, have fun.” Because that…that is what I’ll most likely do! (At least until I figure out if I even HAVE a muse!)

    • margo roby

      21/05/2013 at 9:59 am

      I know! When Sonja describes her Muse, and after I got past the point that I want her HER Muse, it occurred to me I didn’t know whether I had a Muse. It has been fun sitting here going through the possibilities.

      I land your way June 15 πŸ™‚

      • pmwanken

        21/05/2013 at 10:01 am

        I was wondering about the date…you’ll arrive just as my mom is leaving (the 18th). I was hoping it wasn’t going to be the exact same dates (everything seems to happen at once). EXCITED!!!

        • margo roby

          21/05/2013 at 10:18 am

          That’s perfect. Gives me a couple of days to detox!

  2. Carol Carlisle

    21/05/2013 at 10:01 am

    Oh here it comes, can’t help it… What a lovely to “amuse” myself this week! I know her, she or it is around if I search, in the meantime,I’ll have a fling witl the highlander. My muse is pun-ishing me. Of please stop me….

    • margo roby

      21/05/2013 at 10:08 am

      You nut! Have fun flinging πŸ™‚

  3. Yousei Hime

    21/05/2013 at 10:05 am

    Car Stevens? Not familiar with him. πŸ˜‰

    • margo roby

      21/05/2013 at 10:17 am

      Oh, yes. Where to start you…


      His voice is different from anyone’s. I like his earlier work the best, his first couple of albums. He’s an interesting man. You might check him out on Wikipedia.

      • Yousei Hime

        21/05/2013 at 10:23 am

        Ah, a failed attempt at teasing you. I am familiar with Cat Stevens. However, I’d never heard of his brother? Car.

        • margo roby

          21/05/2013 at 10:31 am

          Ach! Your emoticon is winking. Woman, I’m 60. I need two hints;-)

          Car Stevens… clever. I like it and he does appear right under Cat. Oh, yes, this time I checked!

          • Yousei Hime

            21/05/2013 at 1:58 pm

            Fun teasing. Good to have a bit of a laugh today. πŸ˜€

        • margo roby

          21/05/2013 at 11:01 am

          I’m going to have an early third cup of coffee. Make a note that if margo misses a first subtlety, hit her over the head with the next hint.

          • Yousei Hime

            21/05/2013 at 1:59 pm

            Bunny’s pussy-willow bat ready.

            • margo roby

              21/05/2013 at 4:00 pm

              Yousei, anyone reading this will think you and I speak in code!

      • val dering rojas

        21/05/2013 at 1:31 pm

        LOVE Cat Stevens. Just saw a concert recently on You Tube from — I don’t remember the year — but very recently, and from his place of residence now. Very interesting. I had been wondering how long he would be able to stay away from his art. πŸ˜‰

        • margo roby

          21/05/2013 at 4:01 pm

          I had wondered the same. I was beginning to despair when he popped up again.

          • val dering rojas

            21/05/2013 at 11:33 pm

            Same here. I was shocked actually when he did pop back up. But happy too!

  4. barbara_

    21/05/2013 at 11:04 am

    You may have noticed that I am something of a curmudgeon on the subject of muses.

  5. val dering rojas

    21/05/2013 at 1:33 pm

    Hmmm. I’m pretty sure I’m sane and my muse is the crazy one. But it could be the other way around. I suppose my muse is like my doppelganger. Is that like totally egocentric? LOL

    • margo roby

      21/05/2013 at 4:02 pm

      Hey! If we can’t centre on our egos at least occasionally… and i think all our muses, in whatever form are really our doppelgangers.

      • val dering rojas

        21/05/2013 at 11:32 pm

        Yeah, don’t tell anybody, but I think so too. πŸ˜‰

  6. Nathan Wilson

    21/05/2013 at 3:04 pm

    • margo roby

      21/05/2013 at 3:59 pm

      But? But? You’re really going to leave me hanging there. Or is it but I don’t want to write about one. I am all for adaptations. Get the word muse into your poem in some form and you’re good to go. When I say play, I mean it.

  7. Pamela

    22/05/2013 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Margo, I like this prompt, as it is something I have been recently thinking about lately. I don’t if my muse is a man or a woman. I hope to get something done this week with this, because it seems like an interesting exploration.


    • margo roby

      22/05/2013 at 4:01 pm

      Pamela, I would love to see what you discover!


      • Pamela

        22/05/2013 at 8:03 pm

        Did I really put recently and lately together in that sentence? Dear God! I should pay better attention to my typing πŸ™‚

  8. markwindham

    22/05/2013 at 10:35 pm

    as with the last prompt, and most others before that I am sure, not exactly what you asked for. But there is a muse as the subject matter. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      25/05/2013 at 10:09 am

      At least you know I am happy to get a poem no matter how tenuous the connection πŸ™‚

  9. purplepeninportland

    22/05/2013 at 10:54 pm

  10. vivinfrance

    23/05/2013 at 4:43 am

    I’ve had too many pre-occupations, crises and posted too much to my blog. May I post my old new muse poem here?

    Amicitia, a new Muse f

    I met the muse of friendship:
    it was on the way to France.
    A rapport was established
    I liked her at once.
    She told me she inspired
    friendships between
    renaissance man and modern ascetic
    dustman and mayor, nun and heretic.

    Propinquity, personality
    interests in common,
    all are grist to my muse’s mill.
    Friendship is born
    of a liking for wine or walking uphill
    swimming, or going out to dine
    music Mozartian or jazzy
    manners plain or pizazzy,
    walking the high wire
    or playing the lyre.
    Sometimes for no reason at all.

    The next time I met her
    we chatted a while.
    I told her of friends’
    mutual help and support.
    She said that’s exactly
    as she had thought
    friendship should be.
    Now when I make
    new friends, I am pleased
    at the thought:
    my friend Amicitia*
    has been at work.

    *Amicitia: friendship in latin or I could have used
    filia (Greek).

    Β© Vivienne Blake
    28.05.2008 revised 27.7.08

    • barbara_

      23/05/2013 at 11:45 am

      I like your pal, Viv.

    • margo roby

      25/05/2013 at 10:12 am

      But, ViV, of course. How lovely to think of a friendship with your muse. I felt cozy and comfortable with her by the end, but then that makes perfect sense.

      Are you misbehaving? Get down off that table. You can dance on the floors now.

      • vivinfrance

        25/05/2013 at 10:28 am

        I want to learn to zumba, but they say it’s for people between 7 and 70, so that counts me out.

        • margo roby

          25/05/2013 at 10:30 am

          You can shadow zumba.

          • vivinfrance

            25/05/2013 at 10:33 am


            • margo roby

              25/05/2013 at 10:39 am

              Ah. Reference to shadow boxing. A little obscure you say? Take zumba and ratchet it down a few degrees. Do the movements but pick a slower tempo.

  11. barbara_

    23/05/2013 at 11:44 am

    No Muse is Good Muse

  12. ravenswingpoetry

    24/05/2013 at 10:37 am

    Whew! Finally made it. First, I had to figure out what my muse looked like. Then, The Poet and Her Changeling Go Swimming.


  13. Pamela

    25/05/2013 at 1:22 am

  14. seingraham

    25/05/2013 at 5:45 pm

    Whew…I hope this is not too late to be putting this here…I missed the poem metaphor thing (which broke my heart) but was determined not to miss this…muse flighty or not! Thanks Margo (I’ve been suffering some withdrawal pangs since the end of Pulitzer, so am raring to get back at things…)

    • margo roby

      25/05/2013 at 5:49 pm

      Sharon! Never too late. Technically, you aren’t too late for the poem metaphor. If you want to write it and post it, do. I may be the only reader, but hey! I understand on the withdrawal. I have written and submitted more poems in the last couple of weeks than I usually do in six months.

  15. mindlovemisery

    29/05/2013 at 12:15 am

    Fantastic prompt =) Not sure if anyone is allowed to participate but here’s mine

    • margo roby

      29/05/2013 at 7:11 am

      Welcome πŸ™‚ Anyone is allowed to participate. So glad you did. I’ll be over in a bit to read.


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