Inspired by the shrill love song of the cicada, ancient poets wrote verses dedicated to the insects life-cycle and mysterious emergence from the ground. Revered for centuries, the cicada was at one time thought to survive only on dew and air. Socrates believed that cicadas were humans that existed before the birth of the muses and their invention of song. Hearing the beautiful music for the first time, these men and women became so charmed and entranced that they sang in an ecstasy, forgetting to eat or drink, until they died. Taking pity on the unfortunate songsters, the muses turned them into insects, granting them the pleasure of singing continuously, without the need for sustenance. Since the times of these ancient odes and fables, many cultures have linked cicadas and their fevered mating songs with love, sexuality, and eroticism, and analogies have been drawn between their cast off shells and the end of the human life span, during which some believe that a hollow form is left behind as the spirit enters the afterlife.