The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – May 30, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is May 30th, the 151st day of the year 2024, with 215 days remaining.

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

Charles R. Swindoll

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1909, Benny Goodman, known as the “King of Swing,” was born. While primarily celebrated as a jazz musician, Goodman’s influence permeated into the cultural and social fabric of his time, inspiring various works of literature that explore themes of music, identity, and the transformative power of art during the tumultuous eras of the Great Depression and World War II.

Notable Birthdays:

Countee Cullen, an influential figure of the Harlem Renaissance, was born on May 30, 1903. His poetry and essays helped shape the cultural movement that celebrated African American culture and advocated for civil rights through art. Cullen’s work is revered for its beauty, emotional depth, and poignant commentary on race and identity.

Today’s Readings:

From the poetry of Countee Cullen: “I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind, and did He stoop to quibble could tell why the little buried mole continues blind, why flesh that mirrors Him must someday die.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On May 30th, 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake at the age of 19. Her life and martyrdom have been the subjects of numerous literary and historical studies, reflecting on her role as a heroine, a spiritual icon, and a subject of profound myth-making.

Poem of the Day:

“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost:

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

This poem examines the paradoxes of human interaction—our need for boundaries and the equally strong forces that drive us to transcend them. Frost uses the annual ritual of repairing a stone wall as a metaphor for the complexities of relationships.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Charles R. Swindoll’s quote on reaction and adaptability, delve into how your characters respond to the challenges they face. This focus on their reactions can deepen character development and drive your narrative, providing a richer reader experience.

Have a reflective and insightful day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may you find strength and inspiration in how you respond to life’s challenges.

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.