The Last of the Muses

Painting has been declared dead.  Literature is dying.  Have all the muses   vanished just when we need them most?   Or do fragments of the self/rush back to them/like lightning in reverse/wet and dark/and wailing out of death?

Experts agree the world has exhausted them.  Could it be two World Wars and the Holocaust have driven them away?  The artist imagines the Muses inspiring one last epic poem before bidding farewell to a weary world.

The muses: Clio, of history, Calliope, epic poetry, Euterpe, music, Melpomene, tragedy, Polymnia, sacred song, Terpsichore, choral song and dance. Thalia, bucolic poetry, Urania, astronomy, Erato, erotic poetry…  Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, freely called them to inspire.

Found objects in this show prove the Muses lived, beyond imagination, on the island of Kimmuna, in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea.  A recording of their voices, recently unearthed, has been lent by the Palais Garnier in Paris expressly for this exhibit.  (See article and found objects, # 7)

By 1946 the island seemed forsaken.  But a stir of hopeful news in the year 2000 came with the possible sighting of the tenth muse ---  the tenth muse, “…the true speaker for whom the author she inspires is but a mouthpiece, the “woman who walks through walls”.

A chance image taken of the Tenth Muse (See “The Cabinet”, #8)!  Below that image, in the French jar, bottom, are traces of her long golden hair.  Leaves of the rare flower, Morene, indigenous to the island, are etched with lines from a recent and as yet unpublished epic prose poem, “dripping jewels.”  Also discovered rolled in a scroll of weathered ink stained leaves, is the ink stained feather of the indigenous bird, Abygael, a feather evidently used to etch its words, “my mother sleeps/where flowers/never grow”.

In the second drawer, left, are the Muses’ fossilized eggs, hard proof that the Muses lived on Kimmuna since the beginning.  In the third drawer, right, are two artifacts of mysterious origin and utility, plus a rock from the island.  In the small windowed compartment is a worn WWI leather belt.  No doubt washed ashore, as was the weathered helmet, both objects were found among remnants of cut flowers in a grotto on the west coast of the island.

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