The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – June 9, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is June 9th, the 161st day of the year 2024, with 205 days remaining.

Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.

Pablo Picasso

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1961, the poet and playwright Ben Jonson, a contemporary and colleague of William Shakespeare, was born. Jonson’s work, known for its sophisticated structure and wit, includes significant plays like Volpone and The Alchemist. His contributions to English literature not only include his plays and poems but also his critical prefaces which have been foundational in the study of literary criticism.

Notable Birthdays:

Charles Webb, born on June 9, 1939, was an American novelist best known for his novel The Graduate, which was adapted into an iconic film. Webb’s narrative style, characterized by its clarity and minimalistic dialogue, captures the disaffection of the 1960s’ youth with poignant insight.

Today’s Readings:

From Middlemarch by George Eliot: “It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On June 9th, 1891, Cole Porter, one of America’s major songwriters, was born. His witty and stylized compositions have significantly influenced American musical theatre. Many of his songs are classics, and his approach to lyricism is often studied in literary contexts for its clever rhymes and emotional depth.

Poem of the Day:

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

This poem, beloved for its simple yet profound imagery and rhythm, evokes the quiet beauty of nature while contemplating responsibilities and the journey ahead.

Advice for Writers:

Drawing inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s view on art, consider how your writing can present a version of reality that reveals deeper truths. Think about the ways in which fiction can mirror reality not just to reflect it faithfully but to enhance or interrogate it, bringing to light underrepresented truths or perspectives.

Have a productive and insightful day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your creative endeavors challenge the boundaries of truth and fiction.

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