“Where do artists get their ideas? According to the Ancient Greeks, artistic inspiration came from one of the Muses, female deities who gave men the power to create. (The female artist hadn't yet been invited to the party.) The poet Hesiod expanded the three original muses to nine: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania. These benign creatures would give poets a laurel branch, the voice to sing their verse and special knowledge of the past and future.”
As there were nine muses in Ancient Greece, Sally O’Reilly portrays nine examples of notable literary muses throughout history for the Huffington Post: Dante fell in love with Beatrice Portinari; Aemilia Lanyer was Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady”; His unrequited love for Fanny Brawne drove John Keats to write some of his best poems; Charles Dickens was inspired by Nelly Ternan, Charles Baudelaire took his inspiration from Jeanne Duval; Zelda Sayre became F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife and muse; Vivienne and T.S. Eliot’s marriage was stormy and unhappy; the troubles in Yeats’ life began when he met Maude Gonne; and Jack Kerouac's muse was one of the icons of the Beat Generation: Neal Cassady.
9 Muses Who Inspired Incredible Literature, by Sally O’Reilly
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