Definition: In ancient poetry, the poet often invokes the muse or more than one muse. The idea is the same as the modern one -- that the muse helps the poet to write by inspiring him. When used in the singular, the muse is Calliope (Kalliope), one of the 9 muses of Greek mythology, when the genre is epic poetry. Calliope is often not named, but simply referred to as the muse. There were 9 muses, the daughters Zeus and Mnemosyne.
Alternate Spellings: Kalliope
Examples:Odyssey Book I.1f
"Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy."