The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
I am always interested in the people in films who have just had a drink thrown in their faces. Sometimes they react with uncontrollable rage, but sometimes—my favorites—they do not change their expressions at all. Instead they raise a handkerchief or napkin and calmly dab at the offending liquid, as the hurler jumps to her... Read more »
I whispered, ‘I am too young,’ And then, ‘I am old enough’; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. ‘Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.’ Ay, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O... Read more »
I hate Mozart. Hate him with that healthy pleasure one feels when exasperation has crescendoed, when lungs, heart, throat, and voice explode at once: I hate that! — there’s bliss in this, rapture. My shrink tried to disabuse me, convinced I use Amadeus as a prop: Think further; your father perhaps? I won’t go back,... Read more »
When in the chronicle of wasted time I see descriptions of the fairest wights, And beauty making beautiful old rhyme In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best, Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, I see their antique pen would have express’d Even... Read more »
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn... Read more »
With my arms raised in a vee, I gather the heavens and bring my hands down slow together, press palms and bow my head. I try to forget the suffering, the wars, the ravage of land that threatens songbirds, butterflies, and pollinators. The ghosts of their wings flutter past my closed eyes as I breathe... Read more »