Compton, Todd M. 2006. Victim of the Muses: Poet as Scapegoat, Warrior and Hero in Greco-Roman and Indo-European Myth and History. Hellenic Studies Series 11. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Compton.Victim_of_the_Muses.2006.
Chapter 16. Victim of the Muses: Mythical Poets
The Musical Agōn
In other variants, it is made explicit that the Muses were the judges of the competition. 
ἀντόμεναι Θάμυριν τὸν Θρήϊκα παῦσαν ἀοιδῆς,
Οἰχαλίηθεν ἰόντα παρ’ Εὐρύτου Οἰχαλιῆος·
στεῦτο γὰρ εὐχόμενος νικησέμεν, εἴ περ ἂν αὐταὶ
Μοῦσαι ἀείδοιεν, κοῦραι Διὸς αὶγιόχοιο·
αἱ δὲ χολωσάμεναι πηρὸν θέσαν, αὐτὰρ ἀοιδὴν
θεσπεσίην ἀφέλοντο καὶ ἐκλέλαθον κιθαριστύν.
… Dorion, where the Muses
encountering Thamyris the Thracian stopped him from singing
as he came from Oichalia and Oichalian Eurytos;
for he boasted that he would surpass, if the very Muses,
daughters of Zeus who holds the aegis, were singing against him,
and these in their anger struck him maimed, and the voice of wonder
they took away, and made him a singer without memory …
According to Apollodorus, “Thamyris, who excelled in beauty  and in lyre-singing, engaged in a musical contest with the Muses, the agreement being that, if he won, he should enjoy them all, but that if he should be vanquished he should be bereft of what they would. So the Muses got the better of him and bereft him both of his eyes and of his lyre-singing.”  The blinding is attested as early as Hesiod, apparently. 
Poet as Mantis / Shaman
Epimenides of Crete
The Singing Warrior
καλῇ δαιδαλέῃ, ἐπὶ δ’ ἀργύρεον ζυγὸν ἦεν,
τὴν ἄρετ’ ἐξ ἐνάρων πόλιν Ἠετίωνος ὀλέσσας·
τῇ ὅ γε θυμὸν ἔτερπεν, ἄειδε δ’ ἄρα κλέα ἀνδρῶν.
… and they found Achilleus delighting his heart in a lyre, clear-sounding,
splendid and carefully wrought, with a bridge of silver upon it,
which he won out of the spoils when he ruined Eëtion’s city.
With this he was pleasuring his heart, and singing [aeide] of men’s fame [klea]. 
Katherine Callen King writes, “Achilles is not the only man in the Iliad to sing … But he is the only one to sing individually.” Achilles had gotten his lyre as war plunder: “There is no opposition between lyre and battle here.”  In archaic Greece, every aristocratic man was a warrior; and perhaps every aristocratic man learned the basics of singing. But as King points out, it is worth noting that there is no opposition between the two phenomena in archaic Greece culture and ethos. One is hard put to think of a major modern poet who is also a mercenary soldier or for whom war is a central poetic theme.
ἀλλὰ οἱ παρά τε πυρὰν τάφον θ’ Ἑλικώνιαι παρθένοι
στάν, ἐπὶ θρῆνόν τε πολύφαμον ἔχεαν.
ἔδοξ’ ἆρα καὶ ἀθανάτοις,
ἐσλόν γε φῶτα καὶ φθίμενον ὕμνοις θεᾶν διδόμεν.
Even in death, songs [aoidai] did not leave him,
but, standing beside his pyre and his grave, the maidens
of Helikon let fall upon him their abundant dirge [thrēnon].
Even the immortals were pleased to bestow on a brave [eslon] man, though he was dead, the song[humnois] of goddesses. 
According to the Odyssey, “All nine Muses answering each other lamented [thrēneon] with their fair voices. Then you would not have seen any of the Argives tearless. For the clear-voiced Muse moved them to such an extent.”  Thus, lamentation by the grave, hero cult through immortalizing song, is bestowed upon a poet-warrior by the Muses. He is given the standard timē of hero cult.  But he is given poetic immortality in the Iliad. The motif of Apollo murdering the poet connected in cult with the Muses is Aesopic.
ἀνδρὸς ὀρέξασθαι ξιφέων τ’ ἀνέχεσθαι ἀμυχμόν,
κοσμῆσαί τε φάλαγγα λόχον τ’ ἀναμετρήσασθαι
δυσμενέων ἐπιόντα καὶ ἱππήεσσι κελεῦσαι
Κάστωρ ἱππελάτας δέδαεν …
Κάστορι δ’ οὔτις ὁμοῖος ἐν ἡμιθέοις πολεμιστὴς
ἄλλος ἔην πρὶν γῆρας ἀποτρῖψαι νεότητα.
And how to abide the cut and thrust of the sword
or to lunge lance in rest and shield swung over back,
how to marshal a company, measure
an advancing squadron of the foe, or give the word to a troop of horse—
all such lore had he of horseman Castor …
till such time as age had worn away his youth,
Castor had no equal in war among all the demigods.
The Dorians then gave cult to the enemy prophet after his death.
In the same way, the hero myth would attach itself to prominent Greek poets—Aesop, Archilochus, Hesiod, Homer. Thus we have such a curious life of a poet as that of Archilochus’: combining overtly mythical themes (consecration by the Muses) with some solidly historical facts, along with some themes that could be history and could be myth. The fact that many of these themes are shared by other poets and heroes leads one to view many such ambiguous themes as legend, not history. The poet leading a life of disappointment, wandering, and exile, and dying an unjust, divinely engineered death may be the traditional hero myth applied to the poet.