Peggy Heller, longtime NAPT member and leader in the field of poetry therapy, offers this:
“The symbol of this steed of the Muses was tooled on (Poetry Journal editor) Nick Mazza’s briefcase when I met him at a social work conference in 1981 where he was presenting on poetry therapy. It has been an insignia of poets and poetry lovers for centuries.
According to the Greek myths, Pegasus was sired by Poseidon upon Medusa when the formerly gorgeous Gorgon was hanging out in one of Athena’s temples. The grey-eyed, jealous goddess did a number on her for that trespass, turning her into the freaky character we now know. As a part of Athena’s curse, Medusa could not deliver her progeny and Pegasus, with twin Chrysaor, was long in gestation. He was born, fully-grown, when Perseus chopped off the Gorgon’s snaky head whose glance turned plants to coral, men and beasts to stone.
Freed from his “mère” and her petrifying aspect, Pegasus was tamed by Athena and, when not assisting with rainmaking or heroic deeds, spent his time on Mt. Helicon, home of the Muses. There, it is said, his hoof struck the earth, activating the well of Hippocrene which burst forth in a fountain whose waters, get this, inspired people to write poetry. Seems to me a fair interpretation is that creativity, particularly the poetic kind, frees life from the stony stuckness of fear or grief, lifts us on its wings and empowers us to face challenges.”