Lucas Hunt: Elegy for Muses
Emma Hall

Emma Hall

Elegy for Muses

Donna me prega, - per ch'eo voglio dire
d'un accidente - che sovente - è fero
ed è si altero - ch'è chiamato amore:
sì chi lo nega - possa ‘l ver sentire!
—Guido Cavalcanti, from the Canzone    

My lady asks me to tell
of an accident that is often cruel,
and so powerful, that it is called love:
so that they who deny it can hear the truth.
—from the Italian by Benedetta Stucchi

Sprite or muse, you host
  a theatre for worship
and play a goddess role
  that’s rather comic.

Nourishment, our nature
  made us ideal lovers
and I smile to remember
  first contact ecstasy.

Brave mind, in a motion
  you can defend then
level love, friendship, sex
  and just walk away.

I always fear the worst
  and don’t want to know
what the future holds,
  supernatural visitors.

For your friendship I will
  do what others don’t,
beyond the familiar word
  you become an oracle.

Oh muse you are famous
  for light & possibility,
I sing you in the morning,
  I sing you in the night.

Your questions are kisses
  lips opened to answer
were filled with wind,
  moist is the taste of life.

Our love lasts thru time
  connects eternally,
a power that separates
  brings us together.

You live and make love
  return to the earth,
adore what’s forgotten
  and I remember you.

First tremble, then pause
  as your name sounds
I reckon the great power
  that brings us close.     

 Dejected Muse                                    

Who inspires madness
in a black silk evening dress?
She traverses chambers
to arrange flowers
in their vases,
her mother’s tears
 and father’s indifference,
rugs woven to absorb
everything that stains them.                                  

Lost Muse                                                    

Of the songs you sing
one echoes louder,
covers a range of life,
fills me with love.                                                    

I choke on landscape,
the death of soul,
only your song
can save me now.                                                   


Do you know what
happens when she sings?
Her words remake day,
night lasts forever.                                                    


She does what words
say about freedom,
without her here
I abandon the world.

Editor's Note: These poems originally appeared on our old site.

Lucas Hunt was born in rural Iowa, and is the author of Lives (Vagabond Press 2006), Light on the Concrete (North Sea, 2011) and a manuscript The Muse Demanded Lyrics. He studied at the Iowa Writers Workshop, and MFA program at Southampton College. Hunt has published in The New York Times, East Hampton Star, Clarion, Slice, and received a John Steinbeck Award for poetry. He is the director of Orchard Literary, founder of Hunt & Light, and a professional live auctioneer.