The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – May 13, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is May 13th, the 134th day of the year 2024, with 232 days remaining.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Helen Keller

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1842, Sir Arthur Sullivan, who later became one half of the famous operatic duo Gilbert and Sullivan, was born. Sullivan’s compositions for the duo’s comic operas, such as The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore, have charmed audiences around the world and remain integral to the repertoire of musical theatre.

Notable Birthdays:

Daphne du Maurier, born on this day in 1907, was an English author and playwright famous for her hauntingly atmospheric works, including Rebecca and Jamaica Inn. Her stories often explore complex emotional themes and have been adapted into successful films, notably by Alfred Hitchcock.

Today’s Readings:

From Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On May 13th, 1939, the British expedition led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first confirmed to reach the summit of Mount Everest. This monumental achievement has been chronicled in numerous books and documentaries, inspiring a genre of adventure and exploration literature.

Poem of the Day:

“The Lake” by Edgar Allan Poe:

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then—ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

This haunting poem by Edgar Allan Poe captures the paradox of finding beauty in isolation and terror, reflecting a deep and abiding connection to the mysterious and melancholic aspects of nature.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s masterful use of setting, consider how you can use specific locations in your writing to enhance the atmosphere and mood of your stories. A well-crafted setting not only provides a backdrop for action but also serves as a catalyst for the emotional and psychological development of characters.

Have a hopeful and accomplished day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your literary journeys be both inspiring and optimistic.

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