What’s a Nice Muse like You Doing in a Place like This?
Poems by Mike Stone from 2021
“The room was dark except for one dim bulb
Trembling its cone of light above her head
Balanced delicately upon her swanlike neck
While the poet sat in shadow scarcely visible
Scratching his quill inside a notebook.
What care I for your poems, poet?
I must have launched a thousand of them
But never read a single one.”
(from “Seducing the Muse”)
Kindle (digital): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0974FVVZN ($4.99)
Amazon (paperback): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096TRXLJ5 ($17.95)
Poetry professors and critics may judge poems by such metrics as rhyme, rhythm, meter, and form but what most people demand of the poetry that they read is that its content is inspired.
A poet lives for inspiration. He cannot crank it out like an organ grinder, and he can’t control it. He cannot tell when it will come or whether it will come. If it does come, he cannot tell you why it came just then or how long it will stay.
Greek mythology ascribes inspiration to the Muses, elusive goddesses of the arts and sciences. If you look for them you will not find them but, if you are worthy, one might find you. They can turn up in the strangest places: a concert hall, a museum, a forest, or a pub for example.
Some of the poems in this book are about the Muses encountered during meanderings through reality and imagination, poems like “Want Ad”, in which a poet publishes an advertisement for a muse in a local newspaper, “Seducing the Muse”, who poses for a poet, and “The Muse”, about how she found the poet each time in a different form.
There are other poems in the book, like “Life Takes Small Steps” (like a haiku), “How Could We Not Write Poetry?” which wonders how it’s possible to ignore beauty or to be indifferent to love, or “A Dew Drop on a Whippoorwill’s Wing” which is about three generations culminating in my sister and me, recited to the cadence of an epic American backwoods myth.
“What’s a Nice Muse like You Doing in a Place like This?” is Mike’s seventh book of poetry.