The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
After we’d walked for at least an hour, heading toward the Vatican on a broiling August day, I began thinking about how long the tour we’d signed up for was going to be, and how many sacred things would be on view, and how much complicated information the guide would tell us about the ancient... Read more »
In the subway late at night. Waiting for the downtown train at Forty-second Street. Walking back and forth on the platform. Too tired to give money. Staring at the magazine covers in the kiosk. Someone passes me from behind, wearing an orange vest and dragging a black hose. A car stops and the doors open.... Read more »
The young are walking on the riverbank, arms around each other’s waists and shoulders, pretending to be looking at the waterlilies and what might be a nest of some kind, over there, which two who are clamped together mouth to mouth have forgotten about. The others, making courteous detours around them, talk, stop talking, kiss.... Read more »
Lying here in the tall grass Where it’s so soft Is this what it is to go home? Into the earth Of worms and black smells With a larch tree gathering sunlight In the spring afternoon And the gates of Paradise open just enough To let out A flock of geese.
All my past life is mine no more; The flying hours are gone, Like transitory dreams given o’er, Whose images are kept in store By memory alone. The time that is to come is not; How can it then be mine? The present moment ‘s all my lot; And that, as fast as it is... Read more »
There are days we would rather know than these, as there is always, later, a wife we would rather have married than whom we did, in that severe nowness time pushed, imperfectly, to then. Whether, standing in the museum before Rembrandt’s “Juno,” we stand before beauty, or only before a consensus about beauty, is a... Read more »