Do the Muses inspire us, maybe even by kissing us, as they do according to some poets?
In his “Theogonia”, Hesiodos teaches us otherwise.
While he is shepherding with his companions, the muses approach them, not to kiss or inspire but instead to abuse them:
The goddesses first spoke this word to me,
the Muses of Olympus, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus.
“Rustic shepherds, worthless reproaches, mere stomachs,…”
So we got it all wrong. The Muses do not inspire us in the first place – although that comes later, further down in the text:
…They breathed in me an inspired voice…
No, they first give us a kick so we get up from the ground and start working, becoming more than mere stomachs. That seemingly divine inspiration that the ancients attributed to them then comes to us as a result.