The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – May 16, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is May 16th, the 137th day of the year 2024, with 229 days remaining.

Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1929, the first Academy Awards ceremony was held. While primarily a celebration of cinematic achievements, the Oscars have significantly influenced the literary world as well, with many films based on books receiving awards that have led to increased interest and sales for the original literary works.

Notable Birthdays:

Henry Fonda, born on May 16, 1905, was an iconic American actor whose career in film and theater spanned five decades. Fonda’s performances in adaptations of literary works, such as The Grapes of Wrath, based on John Steinbeck’s novel, have left a lasting impression on both film and literary critiques.

Today’s Readings:

From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: “And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On May 16th, 1846, the U.S. declared war on Mexico, a conflict that has been the subject of numerous historical analyses, novels, and poems that explore themes of imperialism, conflict, and the human costs of war.

Poem of the Day:

“Ask Me” by William Stafford:

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thoughts, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

This contemplative poem by William Stafford invites reflection on life’s choices and the quiet, underlying forces that shape our experiences, much like the unseen currents of a river.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Edward de Bono’s concept of creativity, challenge yourself to step outside the conventional bounds of your genre or style. Experimenting with new perspectives and forms can revitalize your writing and open up unexpected avenues of expression.

Have an inspiring and innovative day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your creative journeys break new ground and lead you to unexplored territories in your writing and thinking.

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