|My ole buddy Clio, muse of history, whom I'm|
keeping locked in a closet most days right now.
Looks like she's behind on her reading list, to
judge from all those books tossed around. I
I think I see how this idea became popular, for often the creative process has a life of its own. The writer sits down in front of the same laptop screen as yesterday, and -- magic occurs. A character walks out of the shadows, fully formed and speaking. It feels like magic, though surely it is some intersection -- some mere intersection -- between the conscious and subconscious minds. But it feels like something outside of yourself, that you are recording rather than creating. Very strange.
Anne Bradstreet's family entitled her work The Tenth Muse, meaning she herself, a new American master of poetry. I wonder if that seemed ironic to Bradstreet, if it seemed to her that the Inspirer and the Inspired were being confused. But on that day in 1650, when they yelled, "Surprise!" and laid her published book of poetry in her hands, she was in no position, or, I daresay mood, to complain.