The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Well here’s a salute to that clean old man who’s out every day fishing up coins with a string and a bit of gum through the subway gratings on Broad- way he says that he aver- ages five dollars a week and he says that’s enough for a man who don’t drink.
Must another poor body, brought to its rest at last, be made the occasion of yet another sermon? Have we nothing to say of the dead that is not a dull mortal lesson to the living, our praise of Heaven blunted by this craven blaming of the earth? We must go with the body to... Read more »
Sometimes I feel I have nothing in common with anyone. I shamble through the day, dragging my knuckles in the grass, and each new hour with each new person is a cliff I can’t climb — yet I know I’m alive now — inside a song as deep as forever, that stretches to the infinite... Read more »
Pedometer attached to her belt, your mother, spry and strong at eighty, joins the other Methodist Church members in calculating the 5,915 miles, no matter the weather, to add up all the way from Linesville, Pennsylvania to Jerusalem. They need not worry about miracles or pausing at the signs of the cross. They need not... Read more »
Tell me, how do the manufacturers of tools turn a profit? I have used the same clawed hammer for forty years. The screwdriver misted with rust once slipped into my young hand, a new householder’s. Obliviously, tools wait to be used: the pliers, notched mouth agape like a cartoon shark’s; the wrench with its jaws... Read more »
Certain moments will never change, nor stop being— My mother’s face all smiles, all wrinkles soon; The rock wall building, built, collapsed then, fallen; Our upright loosening downward slowly out of tune— All fixed into place now, all rhyming with each other. That red-haired girl with wide mouth—Eleanor— Forgotten thirty years—her freckled shoulders, hands. The... Read more »