The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Whatever is too stupid to say can be sung. —JOSEPH ADDISON (1672-1719) The human voice can sing a vowel to break your heart. It trills a string of banal words, but your blood jumps, regardless. You don’t care about the words but only how they’re sung and the music behind—the brass, the drums. Oh the... Read more »
There should be a park bench. We’ll sit next to each other, watching a man throw a tennis ball to his yellow lab, sending and retrieving the dog whose loyalty to task is clear to both of them. I’ll say something to start, something I’ve wanted to say for years, words I’ve never before been... Read more »
Some days you have to turn off the news and listen to the bird or truck or the neighbor screaming out her life. You have to close all the books and open all the windows so that whatever swirls inside can leave and whatever flutters against the glass can enter. Some days you have to... Read more »
She sees a starling legs-up in the gutter. She finds an earthworm limp and pale in a puddle. What’s wrong with them? she says. I tell her they’re dead. She scowls at me. She stares at her short shadow And makes it dance in the road. She shakes its head. Daddy, you don’t look pretty,... Read more »
At the old Polish gardener’s There’s a young cat A calico Living half-wild Under the potting shed Where she was born Her face is decorated With daubs and smudges And streaks of black As if she were made up to be a clown In some mysterious carnival I gaze at her in wonder She gazes... Read more »
What if you slept And what if In your sleep You dreamed And what if In your dream You went to heaven And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower And what if When you awoke You had that flower in your hand Ah, what then?