Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wendy Battin takes the wheel

Happy May Day. I've never driven a truck before, so be prepared for swerves.

I'm at odds with my Muse, so have finally met it. I've never thought much of the concept before. Apart from the gender nonsense comitted in its name, Muse has always been projection. Sometimes it's seemed just shorthand for the beloved, or for the ideal reader. I have both, but they fill their own spaces completely and don't speak through me. I might write to them, but not from them. It's only now, many decades into the work, that the Muse makes itself known as something other, by derailing my intentions again and again. I can't call it him or her, I can't put name or face to it. It's that "chune in the head," as Pound had it via Yeats:

"what the Celts call a "chune" in his head, and that the words "go into it," or when they don't "go into it" they "stick out and worry him."

(E.P.'s review of _Prufrock_ in Poetry, 1917)

It lets me know at every turn that the book I thought I'd written is not the book. It undoes every careful thought with song. It had its way with me so thoroughly that I never thought of it in my first books. It was there or not. But now I'm ready to muse on it, will be speaking of other poets' muses and my own, and invite you to muse along for my May on Truck. Say where you sing from.


  1. I sing from something central and basic that I do not understand at all.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Language

    older than we are
    invented only this morning
    all houses, all landscapes
    marry those sounds
    we call our friends
    and read poems to them
    music and the woman
    workingman's tongue

    - Frank Parker

    Welcome, Wendy! I look forward to you in the driver's seat:)