The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – April 26, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is April 26th, the 116th day of the year 2024, with 250 days remaining.

“As April wanes, the promise of spring deepens, nurturing seeds both in the earth and in our hearts.”

Mary Oliver

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1986, Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood was published in Japan. This novel, which brought Murakami widespread fame, explores themes of loss and nostalgia set against the backdrop of 1960s Tokyo. The poignant narrative captures the restless spirit of youth and the deep currents of personal change.

Notable Birthdays:

Bernard Malamud (April 26, 1914 – March 18, 1986), an American author renowned for his novels and short stories, was born on this day. Malamud’s works, including The Natural and The Fixer, are celebrated for their moral clarity and deeply humanistic insights into life and survival.

Today’s Readings:

From The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story… I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On this day in 1928, the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was completed after over 70 years of development. The ambitious project, initiated in 1857, aimed to compile a comprehensive dictionary of the English language with historical examples of the usage of words. The dictionary’s completion marked a monumental achievement in the field of lexicography and remains a cornerstone resource for scholars, writers, and readers worldwide, reflecting the evolution and complexity of the English language.

Reflection:

As April’s days unfold, they carry with them the remnants of winter and the full bloom of spring, offering a chance to reflect on the complexities of choice and the impact of the past on our personal and collective journeys.

Poem of the Day:

“April” by Maxine Kumin:

When will the cold angel of April leave us
and the leaves in the wind
like a hundred thousand
fluttering green coins
suddenly appear?
On branches we believed were dead
the buds swell greenly
tight little fists that will open
to the warm fingers of May.

Advice for Writers:

In your writing this spring, consider the themes of renewal and reflection. How do personal histories and the inevitable changes of life influence your characters or poetic voice? Like Murakami and Plath, explore the depth of human emotion and the poignancy of transitional periods.

May your thoughts be as fertile as April soil, and your words as resonant as the season’s persistent rains. Until tomorrow, continue to cultivate your literary craft with the diligence of a seasoned gardener.

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