In Neos Alexandria today is the Festival of the Muses, about which the calendar says the following:
This ancient Hellenistic festival occurs on 9 Artemisios.
This festival was instituted by Ptolemy I in honor of Apollon and the Mousai and the establishment of their temple, the Mouseion. Offerings are given to them and artistic, musical, and literary competitions are held in their honor. Do something creative on this day, even if you don’t normally consider yourself skilled in this area.
Of course, I do art–in the form of poetry, and almost exclusively devotional poetry these days–so there is an element of “so, this is different than other days how?” to this matter for me, especially since I’ve been writing new double acrostic poem sections for the Megalensia for the last few days (with two more days to go!), but here we are anyway.
And, interestingly enough, during a lunch conversation a short while ago, I said to one of my co-conversants (who can identify themself, if they wish to do so and are reading this, in the comments!) that they gave me inspiration for a new blog post (which I may do after this), and my co-conversationalist said, “I’m your Muse today.” Indeed, indeed! 😉
The poem below has been submitted for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina devotional anthology for the Muses (and others), and is a poem that I wrote not only for that, but also for my own poetry book, which will hopefully be done before the end of this month (if all goes well). However, I decided to give it today, because most people who observe this festival will be honoring the more familiar Nine Muses, whereas I think it is important to realize that there are several different groups of Muses (and I was able to do something for several of them for the BA devotional volume), and this particular group doesn’t get enough attention or credit, so here we go…
To the Titanic Muses
Three daughters of Gaia and Ouranos,
of the broad-brimming earth and speckled heaven,
were Melete, Mneme, and Aiode.
But soon, two more came forth:
Arche and Thelisinoe, the completion,
for without them, practice was aimless,
memory was endless, and song was soulless.
But with a beginning, practice and song
could be distinguished from one another,
and what was remembered was clear
from what was extraneous to music,
and songs delighted the ears of all
and brought words to common thoughts
within the thrall of rhythm and melody.
The five Muses of the Titans made their age,
the Golden Age under Kronos,
an endless period of pleasure and beauty,
for there was no epic or lyric,
no ill stars above nor tragedies,
no comedies or dances (save in war),
but all was united through notes and tunes
in a continuous hum of peaceful mien.
Hail, Thanks, and Praise to All of the Muses!