The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Why, Dot asks, stuck in the back seat of her sister’s two-door, her freckled hand feeling the roof for the right spot to pull her wide self up onto her left, the unarthritic, ankle—why does her sister, coaching outside on her cane, have to make her laugh so, she flops back just as she was,... Read more »
Before the beginning Thou hast foreknown the end, Before the birthday the death-bed was seen of Thee: Cleanse what I cannot cleanse, mend what I cannot mend. O Lord All-Merciful, be merciful to me. While the end is drawing near I know not mine end: Birth I recall not, my death I cannot foresee: O... Read more »
Nests in the eaves stir in the dawn Ephemeral as our peace Morning prayer Grace before food I understand The endless sky the small earth The shadow cone Your shining Lips and eyes Your thighs drenched with the sea A telescope full of fireflies Innumerable nebulae all departing Ten billion years before we ever met
When I was a child I once sat sobbing on the floor Beside my mother’s piano As she played and sang For there was in her singing A shy yet solemn glory My smallness could not hold And when I was asked Why I was crying I had no words for it I only shook... Read more »
When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken —hearted To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this. The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow— It felt like the warning Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all... Read more »
Like to the falling of a Star; Or as the flights of Eagles are; Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue; Or silver drops of morning dew; Or like a wind that chafes the flood; Or bubbles which on water stood; Even such is man, whose borrowed light Is straight called in, and paid to... Read more »