The Midnight Muse

The Writer

Writing sometimes requires us to work odd hours, and often results in very little sleep. However, we usually can’t control when our muse wishes to manifest itself, so have to be prepared for late nights and early mornings should that eventuate. I regularly find myself up writing after midnight so for that reason I call my inspiration “The Midnight Muse.”

The Midnight Muse
Blank pages transform into books, under just a candle’s glow.

The Midnight Muse

by John Hansen


He sits reclined upon a chair

On which his father sat before,

Old, but carved from silky oak,

And once or twice restored.


With both eyes closed and deep in thought,

Hands resting on the desk.

A candle’s flicker in the dark

Makes shadows quite grotesque.


Beside one hand a coffee cup

To help him ward off sleep,

The other fiddles with a pen

In hope his muse may creep.


Inspiration can’t be forced,

Life sometimes impedes.

But as the midnight hour descends

His writer’s block concedes.


Suddenly, tired eyelids lift,

He straightens in his chair,

Enlightenment invades his face,

Runs fingers through his hair.


Knuckles crack, then start to write

Upon the virgin page,

Words flow at speed as if controlled

Waiting for the Muse
Waiting for the Muse

By some mysterious sage.


The writer’s work is magical,

From nothing great things grow.

Blank pages transform into books,

Under just a candle’s glow.


So don’t despair, but persevere,

Whatever form you choose.

Trust in a force beyond your powers,

It’s called the Midnight Muse.

Latest posts by John Hansen (see all)

John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

10 thoughts on “The Midnight Muse

  • May 12, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Hi John, I enjoyed The Midnight Muse. How true that we can only create when the muse visits us! I found your poem to have a well-paced rhythm and clever imagery…

    • May 12, 2016 at 9:53 PM

      Hi Exotic Hippy Queen, thank you for reading and for the encouraging comment. I find my muse’s visits intermittent, to say the least, recently. Daytime attempts at writing have ended in the trash basket, but not so around midnight when real inspiration seems to surface.

  • May 12, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    Ah! I,too, am familiar with the midnight muse. This should win you another contest, John. It is vivid, flows nicely, and is imbued with a warm cozy feeling. I love it.

  • May 13, 2016 at 1:15 AM

    Lovely John, and all of us relate to the same muse and purpose. I’m lucky to have silence whenever I require it, day or night, and my muse at the whim of my pen. Every word here resonates and it is vivid and heartfelt as to our being a writer. great work

  • May 13, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    Like Tony I too require peace and quiet when I’m inspired by my Muse and like you John, most of my work has been written at night, and some early mornings. I enjoyed reading The Midnight Muse and your great photo illustrations. Very nicely expressed.

  • May 14, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Thank you, Vincent. It appears that many writers and poets are of the same ilk, needing peace and quiet for our inspiration to come. Often that comes late at night and early morning. Glad you liked the photos too.

  • May 18, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    Sometimes I won’t be inspired to write anything for days, months, years. And then suddenly, I’ll hear a word or see something and I can write two poems in a day. I noticed that once the inspirations hits my pen is flying across the page.

  • May 18, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Yes, Dana. I often experience similar situations. When the inspiration hits you need to take full advantage of it. Thanks for commenting.

  • September 17, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    I enjoyed how your poem had a classical feel to it as if poets from all ages are in the conversation. Jamie


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