The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – May 9, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is May 9th, the 130th day of the year 2024, with 236 days remaining.

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.

Allen Saunders

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1860, J.M. Barrie, the Scottish author and dramatist best known for creating Peter Pan, was born. Barrie’s imaginative storytelling and the iconic character of Peter Pan have captivated audiences for over a century, exploring themes of youth, freedom, and the escapism of fantasy worlds.

Notable Birthdays:

Glenda Jackson (born May 9, 1936), an English actress and former politician, celebrates her birthday today. Known for her powerful performances on stage and screen, Jackson has also been celebrated for her roles in film adaptations of literary works, bringing complex characters to life with depth and nuance.

Today’s Readings:

From Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie: “To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On May 9, 1671, Thomas Blood, known as Colonel Blood, attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. The audacious attempt itself and his remarkable life have inspired various historical novels and biographies, showcasing a fascinating blend of fact and fiction surrounding his exploits.

Poem of the Day:

“The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy:

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by J.M. Barrie’s ability to blend reality with the fantastical, consider how you can weave elements of fantasy into your realistic narratives. This blend can heighten the emotional impact of your stories and offer readers an escape into worlds of your own creation.

Have a thoughtful and imaginative day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your own stories bring a touch of magic to the mundane.

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