Saturday, November 30, 2019

Welcome to Mount Helicon

Welcome to my new blog. I have a few others: All Sorts of Art by Ali, for my writings about art, including mine; What's Good in Greensboro?, a local-interest blog about Greensboro, North Carolina; and A Big Ol' Bucket of Useful, a blog that has informational articles, reviews, and such that might be interesting and useful. I didn't have anywhere for my creative writing to land, though,since it didn't fit any of the other categories. It also took me a while to come up with a name for my blog that I thought would be kind of catchy, appropriate, and of course, not in use already. 

Mount Helicon is one of the places frequented by the nine muses of ancient Greek mythology. Since people who are creative are often said to be inspired by the muses, I thought it would be nice to imagine metaphorically sitting on those verdant slopes, drawing inspiration from the musical splashing and burbling of the Aganippe and Hippocrene springs to compose some poetry and short fiction. Of course, I can't blame the muses for my natterings, so laying pretension aside, I'll just say I like the idea of strong female role models. 

Here is a description of the muses from E.M. Berens's  The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome (New York: Maynard, Merril, & Co., 1880. Text in the public domain.):

CALLIOPE, the most honoured of the Muses, presided over heroic song and epic poetry, and is represented with a pencil in her hand, and a slate upon her knee.
CLIO, the muse of History, holds in her hand a roll of parchment, and wears a wreath of laurel.
MELPOMENE, the muse of Tragedy, bears a tragic mask.
THALIA, the muse of Comedy, carries in her right hand a shepherd's crook, and has a comic mask beside her.
POLYHYMNIA, the muse of Sacred Hymns, is crowned with a wreath of laurel. She is always represented in a thoughtful attitude, and entirely enveloped in rich folds of drapery.
TERPSICHORE, the muse of Dance and Roundelay, is represented in the act of playing on a seven-stringed lyre.
URANIA, the muse of Astronomy, stands erect, and bears in her left hand a celestial globe.
EUTERPE, the muse of Harmony, is represented bearing a musical instrument, usually a flute.
ERATO, the muse of Love and hymeneal songs, wears a wreath of laurel, and is striking the chords of a lyre.

Image credit: Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon, Claude Lorrain, 1680, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass, USA, North America

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