The Three Muses

First there were three. Each argued by fire, how the first came to be.
Air, the tallest said. Piercing all darkness, filling the void to reignite the stars. The First to hold space and water, tension and spark. The first to carry dreams into wonder.

I find the early mythology about the Muses compelling; little else acknowledges the human spirit and it’s everyday need to thrive by creative expression.  By the early mythologies, it is wholly natural to be  opened up and filled with transcendent qualities; wonder, knowledge, beauty, inspiration- starting points for all arts.  Most have heard of the seven or nine Muses, (epic poetry, history, love poetry, music, tragedy, hymms,  dance, comedy, astronomy).  These may seem archaic, but we could easily replace the terms with our own contemporary art forms. What fascinates me are the first accounts of the earliest three Muses.

“Three ancient Muses were also reported in Plutarch’s Quaestiones Conviviviales (9.I4.2-4).[5] The Roman scholar Varro relates that there are only three Muses: one who is born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, and a third who is embodied only in the human voice. They were Melete or Practice, Mneme or Memory and Aoide or Song.”  wikipedia.

Mneme was the Muse of thought and meditation.

Melete literally means “ponder” and “contemplation” in Greek.

Aoidē means “song” or “voice”.

In my poem below, a conversation by the sea, about these first Muses. The Wordle below gave more words to use.

Three Muses

First there were three, and three men to argue by firelight, what form, what need bore them to be. 

Space,  the tallest said. Piercing all darkness, filling the void to reignite the stars, its air the first to hold all form and fluid, tension and spark. The first to carry dream into wonder.

Water, said the small one.  And the stirring, strident life that dove,
mixing water with air, a dappled swish of her tail. She who rippled the night’s delirium, crossed the threshold.  Gave Memory its motion.  Imagination traveling beyond itself to tell a story.  The first.

Nay, said the third. Seems She that swam from a nautilus shell, would be the first to pleat the sea with waves of sound. Transcend mere ears with mystery.  Carry the divine spark rippling and remembered, to the longing Soul.  Quicksilver mirror, tone on pitch, the waiting voice.  Heart spills over in song.

Tara Linda   Copyright 2011. vs. 5

Author: tara linda

musician, poet, jewelry maker

4 thoughts on “The Three Muses”

  1. This is really, really, beautiful – I love it!
    “She that swam from a nautilus shell, would be the first to pleat the sea with waves of sound. Transcend mere ears with mystery. Carry the divine spark rippling and remembered, to the longing Soul. ”
    – what wonderful writing!

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