The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – January 24, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is January 24th, the 24th day of the year 2024, with 342 days remaining.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Abraham Lincoln

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1965, Winston Churchill, a pivotal figure in 20th-century history and a Nobel Prize-winning author for his numerous works on British history, passed away. Churchill’s leadership during World War II and his extensive writings, which include a six-volume series on the Second World War, have made significant contributions to historical literature and leadership studies.

Notable Birthdays:

Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937), an American novelist, short story writer, and designer, was born on this day. Wharton broke barriers as a leading figure in American literature with classics like The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome. Her keen insights into societal norms and human psychology offer timeless observations about personal and social dynamics.

Today’s Readings:

From The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: “Each time you happen to me all over again.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, sparking the California Gold Rush. This event has been richly documented in literature, capturing the adventurous spirit, dramatic societal shifts, and the personal tales of fortune and despair that characterized this epoch.

Poem of the Day:

“The Thought-Fox” by Ted Hughes:

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

This evocative poem explores the mysterious process of creative inspiration, symbolized by a fox making its way through a forest at midnight, mirroring the poet’s search for the right words.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Edith Wharton’s mastery of character and social critique, consider how you can use your literary works to reflect on and critique contemporary social issues. Engaging with the world around you not only enriches your writing but also connects it with readers on deeper levels.

Have an enriching and thoughtful day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your explorations through the pages of history and literature deepen your understanding of the world.

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