Sadiqullah Khan

The Tenth Muse - Poem by Sadiqullah Khan

To you it’s the cold of the night
The thought fox, sniffing, coming and going
Sets neat prints on the snow, starless, the clock
Ticks. For me it’s the tenth muse, jagged
Be-printed, colored, a wild snowstorm, a sleepless
Night. A steed with wings, wearing ‘Her’ face.
It’s a Jaguar, a hawk, that comes out
A walk, a chest holding wearisome apparel.
It is magic, a Cirencester square
A nomad’s flute, a blood bath, a pond of irises
A contained universe in the vault of head
Ocean of holy water contained in heart.

A human drowning, dancing bird
Of blue feathers. Libidinous energy settling
In the cage of bones, wild inking white
Imagined silence of a huge vacuum, where things
Have no shapes. A fire, fueled, blown
Eating up, devouring, and the gasping soul
Holding out to the straw, afloat for rescue.
All I consume, is in ‘The Path’
All stones beaten, all journeys sacred, all times
Mine. All else matters nothing, all presence is ‘Present’.

My all ways have been
Either the curl, either the curve, a straightened hair.
Either mole on the chin, a restraint, held back
A lament, an impossibility, a nothingness alas!
A self devoid, a beauty imagined, a deity, a nature worshiped.

-On reading The Thought Fox- poem by Ted Hughes

Sadiqullah Khan
September 6,2013.

Topic(s) of this poem: love

Poet's Notes about The Poem

-After having written the above poem, I found out that ‘The Tenth Muse’ is a collection of poems by Anna Bradstreet.

The Tenth Muse, lately Sprung up in America, or Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight, Wherein especially is Contained a Complete Discourse and Description of the Four Elements, Constitutions, Ages of Man, Seasons of the Year, together with an exact Epitome of the Four Monarchies, viz., The Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, Roman, Also a Dialogue between Old England and New, concerning the late troubles. With divers other pleasand and serious Poems, By a Gentlewoman in those parts is a 1650 book of poetry by Anne Bradstreet. It was Bradstreet's only work published in her lifetime. Published purportedly without Bradstreet's knowledge, Bradstreet wrote to her publisher acknowledging that she knew of the publication. She was forced to pretend she was unaware of the publication until afterwards, or she would have risked harsh criticism. Bradstreet wrote the poem 'The Author to Her Book' in 1666 when a second edition was contemplated. The book was published, without Bradstreet's knowledge, by the Rev. John Woodbridge. Woodbridge took the manuscript to England where it was published. Wikipedia

'The Tenth Muse, ' a collection of poems and writings by American poet Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) .

Portrait Bust of Sappho c.1900 by Reps & Trinte
A superb terracotta Art Nouveau portrait bust of Sappho, the famous Ancient Greek poetess.

Sappho was greatly loved for her personification of love and affection, and her creativity. Her poetry was so rhythmical, usually accompanied by music and dance, that it gained the reputation for being the Divine Inspiration of the Muses.
She was born on the Aegean island of Lesbos about 615 BC. To the Greeks Homer was the Poet and Sappho was the Poetess. Plato called her The Tenth Muse.
@ Roy Precious


Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did'st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad exposed to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge) .
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
The visage was so irksome in my sight,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet.
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find.
In this array, 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam.
In critic's hands, beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.

Anne Bradtreet (1612-1672) British North America

Image and poem @ poem and prose blog

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 5, 2013

Poem Edited: Sunday, May 25, 2014

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