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Call Me Superstitious, O Muse

All my best writing sessions have one thing in common – I recited these little pieces before diving in:

Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry

Dante Alighieri, in Canto II of The Inferno (Anthony Esolen translation, 2002):

O Muses, O high genius, aid me now! O memory that engraved the things I saw, Here shall your worth be manifest to all!

Homer, in Book I of The Odyssey (Robert Fagles translation, 1996)

Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns…

William Shakespeare, Act 1, Prologue of Henry V:

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention, A kingdom for a stage, princes to act And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Virgil, in Book I of the Aeneid (John Dryden translation, 1697):

O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate; What goddess was provok’d, and whence her hate

Catullus, in Carmen (Student translation, 2007):

And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is, and whatever sort, oh patron Muse…

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Lou is an Ennie award-winning game designer and author of Club Anyone, a neonpunk novel set in the acclaimed Interface Zero game world, coming soon from WordFire Press. Words Like Bullets is his blog on writing, the writing life, and what's new with Lou. You can receive these blog posts direct to your inbox by subscribing to Lou News or just learn more about Lou at

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