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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Robert Graves on inspiration (from "The White Goddess")

"What is inspiration?" is a question that is continually asked. The derivation of the word supplies two related answers. "Inspiration" may be the breathing-in by the poet of intoxicating fumes from an intoxicating cauldron, ...containing probably a mash of barley, acorns, honey, bull's blood and such sacred herbs as icy, hellebore and laurel, or mephitic fumes from an underground vent as at Delphi, or the fumes that rise to the nostrils when toadstools are chewed. These fumes induce the paranoid trance in which time is suspended, though the mind remains active and can relate its proleptic or analeptic apprehensions in verse.

But "inspiration" may also refer to the inducement of the same poetic condition by the act of listening to the wind, the messenger of the Goddess Cardea in a sacred grove.

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