“The Muse” is a four-line stanza celebrating the rural landscape that surrounds me. Having developed the lines over the past few days, their focus has become less its power to inspire and more the sweetness of its tranquil atmosphere. Consequently, two new ideas for the title have emerged: “The Silvan Still” and “Quietude”. “Silvan”, though it conveys my meaning and alliterates beautifully in the poem, is not a word natural to my vocabulary and so I am loth (how comical that “loth” is) to use it. I shall mull over it in the days to come and see what is best for the poem.

In art, a little perseverance often produces a lot of wonder. On the verge of abandoning “The Muse”, a flash of inspiration rescued the draft from the bin.

The minimalist aesthetic expresses—and therefore betrays—nothing of those who adopt it. It is a non-statement, a refusal to answer painful questions about the self. The smooth monochromatic surfaces subdue a soul desperate to reveal itself, but terrified of doing so.