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They hang around coffee houses sipping espresso as they discuss love, art, and the meaning of life. They dress in skinny jeans and secondhand T-shirts. Once they've finished high school, they'll probably move to a loft somewhere in Brooklyn. Yep, these are the hipster poets, and Bragi is their figurehead. He and his fellow poet-gods are just the first in a long line of artists who devote their lives to the written word in verse.
Think that rock stars were the first guys to have groupies? Think again: the Greco-Roman god Apollo hangs out with the muses, a group of women responsible for inspiring the writers of poetry. Of course, he may be their father. That would make him the father of poetic inspiration—what a way to pass on your genes!
Calliope is the muse of epic poetry. And what a muse she is. Word on the street is that she inspired Homer's Odyssey and Iliad. She is the mother of Orpheus, another rock star following in granddaddy Apollo's footsteps. In her portraits, Calliope always carries a writing tablet or scroll. That way, we know that she and the written word are this close—a much less painful way of expressing their relationship than the runes carved on Bragi's tongue, wouldn't you say?
The Celtic goddess Brigid is in charge of everything the Celts consider "high." This category includes hills, bonfires, and the sky, but also things that are "highbrow," like art, music, and poetry. Which means that Brigid is a very busy lady. You could always count on Brigid for poetic inspiration. And since she is also the goddess of flame and fire, you might say that she provides the "spark" of inspiration.