The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
You were the one for skylights. I opposed Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed, Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling, The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling. Under there, it was all hutch and hatch. The blue slates kept the heat like midnight... Read more »
Perhaps as a child you had the chicken pox and your mother, to soothe you in your fever or to help you fall asleep, came into your room and read to you from some favorite book, Charlotte’s Web or Little House on the Prairie, a long story that she quietly took you through until your... Read more »
I heard a Fly buzz—when I died— The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air— Between the Heaves of Storm— The Eyes around—had wrung them dry— And Breaths were gathering firm For that last Onset—when the King Be witnessed—in the Room— I willed my Keepsakes—signed away What portions of me be... Read more »
One scene from my childhood: Spending the night at my Aunt Eva’s, I have come downstairs at midnight for a glass of milk. She and her husband, Ferdinand, sit at the kitchen table, their backs to me. His left trouser leg is rolled up to his thigh. The stump of the leg he lost under... Read more »
They come to the door, usually carrying or leading a child, always with The Book held between them and the world. They quote Ezekiel, Daniel, Kings. They look at us and think of Nebuchadnezzar eating the grass. It is good to listen, because maybe they are angels, and behind them the sky arches, the trees... Read more »
First the Chickadees take their share, then fly to the bittersweet vine, where they crack open the seeds, excited, like poets opening the day’s mail. And the Evening Grosbeaks— those large and prosperous finches—resemble skiers with the latest equipment, bright yellow goggles on their faces. Now the Bluejay comes in for a landing, like a... Read more »