The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed... Read more »
So much gloom and doubt in our poetry— flowers wilting on the table, the self regarding itself in a watery mirror. Dead leaves cover the ground, the wind moans in the chimney, and the tendrils of the yew tree inch toward the coffin. I wonder what the ancient Chinese poets would make of all this,... Read more »
Clumps of daffodils along the storefront bend low this morning, late snow pushing their bright heads down. The flag snaps and tugs at the pole beside the door. The old freezer, full of Maine blueberries and breaded scallops, mumbles along. A box of fresh bananas on the floor, luminous and exotic… I take what I... Read more »
Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind —
“In that year, 1914, we lived on the farm And the relatives lived with us. A banner year for wild blackberries Dad was crazy about wild blackberries No berries like that now. You know Kitsap County was logged before The turn of the century—it was easiest of all, Close to water, virgin timber, When I... Read more »
occur. Some days I find myself putting my foot in the same stream twice; leading a horse to water and making him drink. I have a clue. I can see the forest for the trees. All around me people are making silk purses out of sows’ ears, getting blood from turnips, building Rome in a... Read more »