“Oh,” the girl said, shaking her head. “Don’t be so simple. People adore monsters. They fill their songs and stories with them. They define themselves in relation to them. You know what a monster is, young shade? Power. Power and choice. Monsters make choices. Monsters shape the world. Monsters force us to become stronger, smarter, better. They sift the weak from the strong and provide a forge for the steeling of souls. Even as we curse monsters, we admire them. Seek to become them, in some ways.” Her eyes became distant. “There are far, far worse things to be than a monster.” ~ Jim Butcher, Ghost Story
Apologies, but I do not have a blog post for you today.
Instead, I have poetry.
Lately, I have been interested in exploring the idea that some of us have inside of us a monstrous part, a piece that isn't easy to look at or talk about, a piece that is there to do what needs to be done even if what needs to be done is ugly or inhuman. This part of the self could be seen as a more damaged version of the anti-hero. My husband calls it the Necessary Monster.
I have been given an opportunity to read and review author Theodora Goss' newest book, Songs for Ophelia, due in stores soon. This is an exquisite volume of poetry, mystical, mythical, fantastical, even spiritual, a must-read, and I thought I would share my review here, so others might have the opportunity to read this volume themselves.
This is the Fourth posting of the (en)LIV(en)ING with the Muses Series
Last weekend I was in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with my daughter. We came to one of the hallways and I looked up and saw a beautiful dome painting of the Nine Muses and Apollo by John Singer Sargeant. As I scanned the image I imagined what type of energy would be in abundance as the Muses danced in free abandon around Apollo, God of the Sun. I thought about the sensuality of this energy and the grace and ease with which it appeared each was connected to the other. The feeling was one of being totally lost in the moment, carried by the urge to create, to move and to inspire. I thought about the tales I had read of the lives of the Muses and the Gods and Goddesses and the common thread of pure passion that flowed through even the most desperate of tales. After all, is it not passion, whether it be positive or negative that fuels the will to live. All of the emotions- jealousy, love, anger, mercy, joy and more, have all come into being because of what we see, what we experience and how we translate these emotions into how we live and ultimately how and who we love.
Here are a few further stanzas in the gnomic poem of Viking wisdom, translated from the medieval Norse with a commentary on significance and context. Read the other entries in this ongoing project here. Read the original Old Norse poem here.