The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – January 10, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is January 10th, the 10th day of the year 2024, with 356 days remaining.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Anaïs Nin

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1776, Thomas Paine published “Common Sense,” a powerful pamphlet that advocated for American independence from Britain. Paine’s eloquent and persuasive writing played a crucial role in influencing public opinion and mobilizing colonial sentiment toward the revolutionary cause. His work remains a seminal example of how the written word can influence history.

Notable Birthdays:

Baroness Barbara Cartland (January 10, 1901 – May 21, 2000), a prolific English author known for her numerous romantic novels, was born on this day. Cartland’s books have sold over a billion copies worldwide, making her one of the most commercially successful writers of the 20th century.

Today’s Readings:

From “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine: “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations was established with the aim of preventing another devastating world conflict. The League’s efforts and eventual dissolution have been the subject of many historical analyses, which examine its ambitions and the complexities of international diplomacy.

Poem of the Day:

“Dirge Without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

This poignant poem refuses to accept death passively, expressing a powerful defiance against the loss of loved ones and the inevitability of death, emphasizing the irreplaceable value of individual lives.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Thomas Paine’s impactful rhetoric, consider how your writing can advocate for causes you believe in. Crafting persuasive and compelling arguments can not only engage and persuade readers but also inspire action and change in the real world.

Have a courageous and expansive day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your words and actions reflect your deepest convictions and aspirations.

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