The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – April 23, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is April 23rd, the 113th day of the year 2024, with 253 days remaining.

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”

Fernando Pessoa

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1616, William Shakespeare, the bard of Avon, died in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare’s profound influence on English literature and drama is celebrated worldwide, with his plays and poetry becoming timeless treasures that explore the depth and complexity of human emotion and experience.

Notable Birthdays:

  • William Shakespeare (April 23, 1564-April 23, 1616), whose exact birthdate remains unknown but traditionally observed on April 23rd, shared both his birth and death on this day. His works, from Hamlet to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, continue to be pivotal in studies of English literature and are performed ubiquitously across global stages.
  • Rupert Brooke (August 3, 1887-April 23, 1915), an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during World War I, died on this day. His most famous piece, “The Soldier,” reflects a romanticism that is both poignant and reflective of the period’s sentiments.

Today’s Readings:

From Macbeth by William Shakespeare: “Out, out brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

April 23rd is also celebrated as World Book Day, a date chosen by UNESCO to honor books and authors and encourage reading. The date pays homage to several literary giants who died or were born on this day.


As we honor the legacy of Shakespeare and the joy of reading globally, let us remember the power of literature to shape society, convey deep human truths, and bring immense personal pleasure. Today, take a moment to pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, or revisit an old favorite, and celebrate the enduring magic of words.

Poem of the Day:

“Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Advice for Writers:

Echoing Shakespeare’s mastery, consider how your words might endure long after they are written. Strive to write not just for the present audience but for the future, crafting stories and insights that resonate through ages.

Have a wonderful and inspired day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your life be as rich as literature itself.


  • Amelia Desertsong

    I really do love that Pessoa quote. But, the thing is, while literature can offer most agreeable escapism, the best literature also allows us to recognize things we might have missed the first time in our own lives. Great literature helps us to live more intentionally through applying the ideas we derive from our reading; it allows us to have a conversation with people who we’d otherwise never meet.

    • Thomas Slatin

      I absolutely agree. Literature does serve as a wonderful escape, but its true power lies in its ability to enrich our understanding and appreciation of life. By exposing us to thoughts, feelings, and experiences that might otherwise be beyond our reach, literature invites us to reflect on our own lives in new ways. It’s like having a dialogue across time and space with minds great and small, giving us a deeper connection to the world around us. This interplay of ideas not only broadens our perspectives but also encourages us to live more deliberately and thoughtfully. And, I love you too for engaging in such meaningful reflections. 🙂

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