It occurred to me yesterday that we need more Muses.
The traditional names and domains of the Nine Muses are as follows:
- Calliope, epic poetry
- Clio, history
- Euterpe, music, song, and lyric poetry
- Erato, erotic and love poetry
- Melpomene, tragedy
- Thalia, comedy
- Terpsichore, dance
- Polyhymnia or Polymnia, sacred song and hymns
- Urania, astronomy
What about a Muse for science fiction writers? A Muse of Westerns? A Muse of comics, or of superhero movies, or of hip-hop?
There is no reason there couldn’t be Muses whose names we don’t know, who were unknown to the ancients but have been waiting in the wings for their domains to manifest. So I decided to invoke some, starting with the Muse I personally need most.
To the Unknown Muses 1: The Muse of Fanfiction
Sing, O Muse, of the stories that were never told,
the endings that turned out differently, the onscreen bros
who became lovers, the alternate universes of story!
I invoke thee, Muse of Fanfic, O comely youth,
beloved of many gods who dallies with Mary Sue,
you who take away superhero powers
and bestow werewolf or vampire status.
Handsomest of deities, master of all tropes,
who graces Wikipedia with the entries writers need,
come speedily to the writers reviewing their canon,
guide the hands of artists making portraits without references,
send rhymes to the lips of filkers, keep keen
the eyes of vidders, support us unpaid women
who bravely carry on the ancient traditions.
O Muse of Fanfic, hail!