The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – April 17, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is April 17th, the 107th day of the year 2024, with 259 days remaining.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

Jack Kerouac

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1397, Geoffrey Chaucer told the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer’s tales are widely regarded as one of the cornerstones of English literature, providing a critical look at medieval society through the lens of its varied characters.

Notable Birthdays:

  • Thornton Wilder (April 17, 1897-December 7, 1975), an American playwright and novelist, was born on this day. Known for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, Wilder’s work delves into the universal themes of human existence, making profound observations about the transitory nature of life.

Today’s Readings:

From The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder: “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”

Fact of the Day:

On April 17, 1964, Ford introduced the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair. The Mustang would go on to become an iconic American car and a symbol of the free-spirited youth of the 1960s, inspiring numerous references in literature and popular culture that captured the essence of an era.


As we reflect on the literary contributions of Geoffrey Chaucer and Thornton Wilder, we are reminded of the power of storytelling in bridging the gaps between past and present, life and death, and the experiences of human existence. Their works encourage us to see the interconnectedness of all lives and the enduring impact of love and empathy.

Poem of the Day:

“Spring” by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under the ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Thornton Wilder, explore the profound in the everyday. Consider how the simple moments in life can reveal universal truths and how your writing can capture these moments to reflect the deeper resonances within the mundane.

Have a day full of deep reflection and simple joys, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may you find beauty and meaning in the narratives you weave and the tales you tell.

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