The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
A man walks alone in the park and beside him a woman walks, also alone. How does one know? It is as though a line exists between them, like a line on a playing field. And yet, in a photograph they might appear a married cou- ple, weary of each other and of the many... Read more »
The mind becomes a field of snow but then the snow melts and dandelions blink on and you can walk through them, your trousers plastered with dew. They’re all waiting for you but first here’s a booth where you can win a peacock feather for bursting a balloon, a man in huge stripes shouting about... Read more »
So many things you’d not have thought of until they were given. Even the simple— a cottage cheese sandwich, a heron’s contractable neck. You eat. You look. Then you look back and it’s over. This life. This flood— unbargained for as lasting love was— of lasting oddness.
On that day in history, history took a day off. Current events were uneventful. Breaking news never broke. Nobody of any import was born, or died. (If you were born that day, bask in the inverted glory of your unimportance.) No milestones, no disasters. The most significant thing going on was a golf tournament (the... Read more »
Over the back of the Florida basker, over the froth of the Firth of Forth, Up from Tahiti and Madagascar, Lo, the sun walks north. The first bright day makes sing the slackers While leaves explode like firecrackers, The duck flies forth to greet the spring And sweetly municipal pigeons sing. Where the duck quacks,... Read more »
In Istanbul, my ears three mornings heard the early call to prayer. At fuller light, heard birds then, water birds and tree birds, birds of migration. Like three knowledges, I heard them: incomprehension, sweetened distance, longing. When the body dies, where will they go, those migrant birds and prayer calls, as heat from sheets when... Read more »