The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – May 21, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is May 21st, the 142nd day of the year 2024, with 224 days remaining.

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.

Theodore Dreiser

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1688, Alexander Pope, one of England’s most eminent poets, was born. Known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer, Pope’s works, including The Rape of the Lock and An Essay on Criticism, are celebrated for their sharp wit and mastery of the heroic couplet.

Notable Birthdays:

Fats Waller, born on May 21, 1904, was an influential American jazz pianist, organist, composer, and comedic entertainer. Waller’s music, like literature, tells stories of the human condition, resonating with themes of joy, sorrow, and the complexities of life.

Today’s Readings:

From An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope: “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On May 21st, 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, completing the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight. This historic event has been recounted in numerous books and articles, inspiring themes of adventure, bravery, and the relentless pursuit of dreams.

Poem of the Day:

“The Waking” by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

This introspective and rhythmic poem explores themes of consciousness, life’s journey, and the integration of experience with existence, employing a villanelle structure that emphasizes cyclical motion and reflection.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Theodore Dreiser’s metaphor of art as honey, consider how your writing can serve as a repository for the collective experiences and emotions of humanity. Your words have the power to encapsulate the essence of what it means to live, to struggle, and to triumph, providing nourishment for the soul.

Have a profoundly artistic and meaningful day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your creative endeavors enrich the soul and bring depth to your literary explorations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.