The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – February 21, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is February 21st, the 52nd day of the year 2024, with 314 days remaining.

Action is the foundational key to all success.

Pablo Picasso

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1907, W. H. Auden, one of the leading literary voices of the 20th century, was born. His poetry, ranging from politically charged to deeply personal, continues to influence generations of writers and thinkers. Auden’s exploration of moral and political issues in verse is a testament to the power of poetry as both a reflective and transformative tool.

Notable Birthdays:

  • Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist, was born on this day. Her music often reflected her profound engagement with the African American experience and her lyrics are celebrated for their emotive power and poignancy, which continue to resonate in the realms of music and social justice.
  • Alan Rickman (February 21, 1946 – January 14, 2016), an English actor and director known for his roles in film and theater, was also born on this day. While primarily known for his acting, Rickman’s interpretations of literary characters, such as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, brought depth and nuance to some of the most memorable figures in contemporary literature.

Today’s Readings:

From Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden: “He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On February 21, 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto, a political document that would go on to become one of the world’s most influential in terms of shaping political thought and policy. The manifesto has inspired a vast array of critical literature and analysis, exploring its themes and implications in various socio-economic contexts.


As we celebrate the legacies of cultural icons like W. H. Auden and Nina Simone, let us reflect on the impact that art and literature have on our understanding of the world. Their works challenge us to consider deeper questions about justice, emotion, and human rights, encouraging us to think critically about the role of art in social and political activism.

Poem of the Day:

The More Loving One by W. H. Auden:

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by W. H. Auden, don’t hesitate to address complex themes in your writing. Use your platform to explore and discuss pressing societal issues, bringing awareness and encouraging thought through the beauty and power of words.

Have a thoughtful and creative day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your writings inspire action and reflection.

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