Joined: 24 May 2005
|Posted: Fri May 27, 2005 4:32 am Post subject: Letter to The Times
|Wednesday 11 June 2003.
Dear Sir / Madam.
Sir, in responding to the book review of The twentieth century Muse by Colin McDowell, published in the BOOKS section of your CULTURE magazine of 8 June 2003. I happen to be a Muse-poet and in my own case my Muse is a lady I've never met. We're kept physically apart by magic, not by distance and we met over the Internet – Long live Yahoo!
It would've been facile, were it have been difficult to meet you
it is difficult that it isn't
Mr McDowell, I'm afraid, has gone horribly wrong. He begins, firstly, by referring to the 9 Muses of classical Greek antiquity. He tell us that each inspired a particular branch of learning yet fails to tell us that the book he is reviewing concentrates solely on the muses of painters. A Muse is not necessarily to be equated with a wife or mistress nor is she obliged in any way. The Muse is the human incarnation of the White Goddess with whom the artist is in love (Graves in The White Goddess traces her influence in world literature). She Inspires. If only Mr McDowell was familiar with Graves' thesis, alas. Passion plays a pivotal role in this partnership and as such all true artists do physically respond to her beauty regardless of what Mr McDowell says, which doesn't matter. I'm one of the lucky few that do take pride in this infamy, though I know it's unlikely I'll ever make it big as a poet but
I cannot think of any true poet from Homer onwards who has not
independently recorded his experience of her. The test of a poet's
vision, one might say, is the accuracy of his portrayal of the White
Goddess and of the island over which she rules.
(The White Goddess. Robert Graves. Faber & Faber, 1952).
'Although artists have no time for muses today, the fashion world loves them.' Of course they would, mine is very posh for her degenerate Bohemian eccentric poet. Of course fashion designing wouldn't be as easy as writing poetry – There's money involved. Mr McDowell has also been unable to trace the origins of what he calls the 'Fashion Muse' beyond the 1980s. She was in fact around when Sappho (612 – 580 BCE) detailed robes and necklaces (fragment XXII) and 'Multi-coloured Lydian sandals' (fragment XXXIX), a vanity bag (fragment CLXXIX)), flowery garlands and headbands (fragments LXXXI, XC, XCIV, XCVIIIa and XCVIIIb), or How to wear a skirt correctly (fragment LVII) or a soft linen shag (fragment C).
Who can refuse her if she materialize into a shark or an unmade bed? She has been known to transform herself into many innumerable beings including sow, mare, bitch, vixen, she-ass, weasel, serpent, owl, she-wolf, tigress, mermaid and even a witch. She may even be one of Mr Mcdowell's oyster-tongued 'Upper-class women with varying degrees of education but always much more than the cor-blimey designers, to fill a gap for people who at that point hadn't the first idea of what a muse was.' The Quran was revealed to Mohammad who was illiterate! Creativity is independent of mere 'Upping the ante.'
Yours most sincerely.