Saturday, May 31, 2014


I’ve seen Polyhymnia called the muse of sacred poetry, but there seems some uncertainty about this, and she, alone of the nine named muses, has no attribute. I suspect the story about sacred poetry is just a cover – the clue to her real nature is in the fact that she has no attribute. No globe, no flute, no scroll, no mask, no sword – nothing. What else can she be, then, but the Muse of the Uninspired? (Surely, if the misbegotten can have a moon of their own, the unispired may have a muse. Who has more need?).

As the Muse of the Uninspired, Polyhymnia has to operate a bit differently than her sisters. I imagine she comes to the uninspired and chats about indifferent things, remarking about the weather and the performance of minor-league ball teams; she may distribute recipes which involve mayonnaise and Rice Crispies. She dresses and means well, but is seldom deliberately evoked. “Sing Polyhymnia, of things oft dreamed by men and voles, and aid me as I tell of a trip to the grocery where quite edible vegetables were on sale at reasonable prices!”

She is not to be confused with her dread brother, the Muse of Uninspiration, whose name is not spoken. He is known to live in Porlock, where the flowers have a disconcerting habit of suddenly unblooming, but travels throughout the world, grimly taking back the gifts his sisters leave their votaries.

No comments:

Post a Comment