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The Muse of Erotic Poetry – and Mime

March 22, 2020

I was doing the crossword in The Observer today and the answer to one of the clues was ‘Erato’ – one of the nine Greek Muses. Curious, I googled her to find out a bit more, and discovered that she was the Muse of erotic poetry and mime. That’s a strange combination, isn’t it? Erotic poetry and mime. One imagines something like the following conversation took place:

ZEUS: Right, Erato, I’d like you to be the Muse for mime.

ERATO: What? I don’t want to do mime. It’s really boring. Why can’t I have tragedy?

ZEUS: Because I’ve already given tragedy to Melpomene.

ERATO: What about singing and dancing, then?

ZEUS: Terpsichore’s got that. Look, someone’s got to do mime and it might as well be you.

ERATO: I don’t even like mime. No, I’m not doing it.

ZEUS: (Sighing) OK, look, I’ll throw in erotic poetry as well, how’s that? Deal? 

ERATO: (Grudgingly) Oh, God, all right then.

ZEUS: You could have mimed that.

ERATO: Oh yeah. (Gives unenthusiastic thumbs-up sign)

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  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Perhaps she was just a useless mime and the poetry was commentary.

  2. Mark Brafield permalink

    That’s odd. When I was a teenager and exploring the world of classical music, ‘Erato’ was a very classy French record label. Perhaps all the other muses’s names had been used up by then.

  3. Maybe she was a sex slave! The Greeks didn’t really like women! Maybe sounds of fear and pain were like poetry to there ear!

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