Muse or Not

My muse is such a fickle thing,
When she is here, it feels like spring,
A charming and uplifting boss,
But when she’s gone I’m at a loss.
I ask my words to come outside,
But no, they say, they have their pride.
They claim that it’s a holiday,
And all they want to do is play.
“But why?” I ask. “Why not for me?”
They say because they work for free.
“Your muse,” they vow, “is much more fun
And knows best how to get things done,
But when she’s gone, you poke and prod
And seem confused.” They gravely nod.
But muse or not, I’ll drag them out
And hope they work instead of pout.

94 thoughts on “Muse or Not

  1. Can definitely be a wee bugger at times. 😉 Prodding at words is heavy going. Think I’ll go outside and play too. Wonder what Muse like to play at. Hide and seek maybe? Lovely work, Cubby. Well captured.x

    1. Lol hide and seek sounds like a perfect game for a muse to play. 🙂

  2. A great and whimsical way to shine the light on the poet’s process!

    1. Hehe thank you kindly. 🙂

  3. Ah, the fickle muse… too well do I know the frustration. I like to think my muse is like a Shetland pony: cute as a button and very smart, but with a mind of her own and incredibly cantankerous when she wants to be. At which point bribery is often required. 😉

    1. Ah, your muse sounds like she needs a couple sugar cubes. I find sugar can help lure the muse back a little closer…or make me too happy to care she’s gone. 🙂

      1. I usually try carrots, but that might work too. 😉

  4. These muses need taking down a notch or two – mine is the most sulky creature imaginable. Enjoyed this hugely.

    1. Muses do tend to be quite temperamental. They think that once they help you out with one poem, they can just flit away and leave you stranded for the next. Glad you enjoyed this! 🙂

      1. I’m more than happy if they just give me an opening line! 🙂

  5. The Power…. *cackles* – I’m intrigued to know how the other two would have gone now!

    The good thing about being brand new to this is not having been going long enough to come across the brick wall that is writer’s block yet (I save that for my PhD thesis which is due in imminently and getting far less attention than my poetry writing ;S )

    I love this though and think you capture it perfectly – I love Stephanie’s idea that her muse is a Shetland Pony – mine is far less exciting and seems to be either one of my three year old girls or the lurking anorexia bully I do my best to keep locked up tight, depending on my mood….

    1. I think when something important is on the horizon, like your thesis, our muses become unusually active. Hopefully your muse will let you finish the paper. The lurking bully needs to go somewhere the light doesn’t shine. Your daughters can take turns being your muses. 🙂

      1. Perhaps I need to keep delaying my thesis deadline until I’ve written enough poetry to feel I’ve got the hang of it then 😉

        1. As long as it doesn’t come back to bite you! 🙂

          1. ha ha! I’ve actually made quite a bit of progress on my thesis today – I think this conversation guilt tripped me into it 😉 I simply have to get it finished, I have too many other projects to get on with. Besides, I look forward to making everyone call me Dr Pooky… ALL THE TIME!

            1. Ah, the noblest of reasons. 😉 Dr. Pooky has a wonderful ring to it. 🙂

              1. LOL – I didn’t really care about the PhD when I entered into it, it was just handed to me on a plate and is about an area of research I feel passionate about (student mental health) but having worked full time alongside it for six years and now managing two three year olds as well it feels hard won, so the doctor bit is kind of symbolic of a lot of sweat and toil 🙂

              2. OH, and Dr Pooky sounds totally cool…. 😉

                How are you doing today Cubby?

                1. Doing pretty good today. Resting up before I head off for Thankgiving dinner. There are 4 desserts planned so I need to make sure I’m ready for it. How about you?

                  1. OH wow, that’s a lot of pudding! What are they?

                    I thought Thanks Giving was in November though? (I was in the US for thanksgiving when Lyra had just turned one, it was amazing though we missed Tom and Ellie terribly – Ellie had only just joined us and wasn’t allowed to travel but Tom booked surprise tickets for Lyra and I to go to my sister’s wedding. That was way more info than you bargained for wasn’t it 😉 )

                    1. It is Thanksgiving in Canada today. I can’t remember what all 4 desserts are, but I believe I heard pumpkin pie and cupcakes. I love superfluous random information. 🙂

                    2. Oh see now I’m confused – I thought Thanks Giving was an American thing, you clearly need to educate me! (sorry I’m just an ignorant Brit!)

                    3. Thanksgiving is a national holiday in Canada and the United States. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. It is a harvest celebration, and there are similar celebrations in other countries as well such as Germany, Grenada, and Japan. Compared to North Americans, I think Brits are much less ignorant in many ways, especially when it comes to world affairs. 😉

                    4. Ha ha! Well now I know. Thank you 🙂

  6. delightful poem, playfully worded. i guess the muse didn’t abandon you after all… 😉

    1. Ah, it felt like she did, but she may have shyly crept back and peeped over my shoulder as I was writing. 🙂

  7. I LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing this smile-inducing post, Cubby!

    1. I am so glad it made you smile. 🙂

  8. Cleverly contrived, solid, flowing iambic tetrameter with tight rhyming. Just great work that’s good to see and fun to read.

    1. I prefer iambic tetrameter to iambic pentameter. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. 🙂

  9. I love this….I believe we all can relate. I think I am actually ignoring my muse at the moment. She will make me pay

    1. Lol it is not good to ignore your muse and then pay later! I hope she will be kind when you stop ignoring her. 🙂

  10. The MUSE is very amusing! Very well done…

    1. Lol yes, it makes perfect sense that a muse would be amusing. 🙂

  11. Lol,I thought a muse was a ‘he’,good read anyways!

    1. And I always thought muses were feminine! 🙂

  12. This is great!

  13. My muse is presently in a snit. Hrmpf. Maybe my muse and your muse need to get together and take in a movie. 🙂

    1. Lol that may not be a bad idea. 😉

  14. So much fun. Love the inner dialogue and clever answers to your pleading. Delightful:)

    1. Hehe glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  15. So so true!

  16. “They work for free”–well, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”! I always enjoy seeing a poet’s take on his/her muse–fascinates me.

    1. Ah, I was afraid of that. Cheap labor can’t be trusted, I suppose.

  17. Love it! I believe all of us writers can relate to this one. The muse is indeed very fickle!

    1. It would be nice if there was a muse training camp where they could go to learn how to be less fickle. Sigh. 🙂

  18. Delightful poem 🙂
    My muses have taken off on another jaunt, or else they’re hiding with the lost odd socks.

    1. Lost odd socks seem to have a way of attracting strange things. 🙂

  19. I want a picture of that. I think it would be an awesome illustration of somebody dragging screaming words out of their own head. On second thought, that sounds a little creepy. =P Awesome poem!

    1. Lol yes, it would be creepy if they were screaming. Spitting and sticking out their tongues, on the other hand, might work. 🙂

  20. Awesome, and excellent rhythm Cubby! Great poem 🙂

    To combat writer’s block, or just to seek random inspiration, I will often flip to a random spot on a random page in an old, falling-apart thesaurus I have that was first published in 1924 (it’s a 1946 printing though) that has a lot of no-longer-common words/phrases in it for inspiration. I sometimes then google what I find to get a clearer understanding of the word/phrase, and let it be an influence on my creative writing. It’s quite fun, I recommend perusing ebay for an archaic thesaurus on the cheap sometime, and trying it too:)

    1. That is a very creative way to look for inspiration! Fascinating. Definitely something to think about. Thank you for sharing this with me. 🙂

  21. My muse is playing hide and seek at present – she’s in hiding I continue to seek. Love this. Came across your blog via Pooky. I look forward to exploring.

    1. Yes, hide and seek seems to be a very popular game with muses. I hope you find yours sooner than later. Pooky’s great. 🙂

  22. Ah, yes, I can currently relate.I have been going through photos, looking for the inspiration for a quatern. Right now, it just ain’t happening!

    1. “Right now, it just ain’t happening” is a great line for the refrain in a quatern. 😉

      1. I see your point, but I just can’t get into a poetic frame of mind right now.

        1. Hopefully sooner than later it will come. 🙂

  23. Ah those words, seems they are forever looking to the muse to amuse them! Fun poem and great way to get them to come out and play even when one’s having an off day! Purrfect Poem!

      1. Yeah! Got a purrrr! 🙂

  24. wow Cubby a temperamental muse, now that’s an issue to grapple with. To make it worse they are pouting muses, sounds almost like a tantrum but you have a determination to have them behave and that is a good thing for us.

    1. My words tend to pout when the muse goes away because they know how difficult it will be to get work done hehe. I hope you don’t have to deal with a temperamental muse! 🙂

  25. Cubby you never cease to amuse, you and your muse… amazing! 😉

    1. Lol you are too kind. I think I am more amusing than amazing, but I like the fact that you think I’m both! 😀

      1. The amusing part of you is amazing 😉

  26. This is fabulous! Such perfect rhythm, yet feels totally natural and unforced, and I love the light comedic feel, even though I know how frustrating dragging out words can be when their resisting. Yes, it’s best when work is play:-) Blessings, H xxxx

    1. Writing is definitely much more fun when my muse is around as I do tend to poke and prod my words quite laboriously when she’s gone. Glad you enjoyed this! 🙂

  27. another great poem 🙂 you really painted the scene of non co-operative workers, hope they get some work done 😛 those words are just slackers hehe

    1. Exactly. Words are just slackers when the muse goes away. Such lazy good-for-nothings hehe. 🙂

  28. I totally get this sometimes my poems just flown out other times it seems so much like and effort and then they aren’t as good I feel. My muse comes and goes a lot. The trick is to write as much as you can when it’s there. Great fun way of describing it an excellent poem x

    1. Definitely. You must write as much as possible when the muse is in attendance. Glad you enjoyed the poem! 🙂

  29. delightful read 🙂 I like the way you captured the fickle one 🙂

    1. Hehe many kind thanks. 🙂

  30. “Fear not O Muse! truly new ways and days receive, surround you,
    I candidly confess a queer, queer race, of novel fashion,
    And yet the same old human race, the same within, without,
    Faces and hearts the same, feelings the same, yearnings the same,
    The same old love, beauty and use the same.”

    Walt Whitman – ‘Song of the Exposition’

    1. That’s a wonderful quote. I have yet to read so many great works by great poets. Sigh. 🙂

      1. Happy to share 🙂

  31. Fickle indeed! Love your whimisical depiction 🙂

  32. Muse, muse where art thou?
    Right there with thee, lass.

    1. Ah, sadly she’s flown far away for now. I await her return. 🙂

  33. Surely no, your muse visits you frequently, so she cannot have flown far, maybe just to the garden next door…! Mine is an albatross, visiting the land that is me but once a year or two and then flying far away to distant oceans of dreaming…

    1. Hmm to the garden next door…that would explain why she smells so sweet. Albatrosses are very powerful birds. I think they tend to visit in your dreams, so the trick is to try to remember them when you wake up. 🙂

  34. Oh no! The cat who lost her mews… Glad to see it was only temporary. The thing about being away for a bit is all the wonderful Cubby poems awaiting my return.

    1. Aw, what a sweet thing to say. 🙂

  35. That’s probably why I don’t hear Whispers at times. The muse is on a holiday. 🙂

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