The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
I am sitting in sunlight reading when Debbie calls to talk from some store to ask me what size coat she should buy me. We decide I don’t need a new coat. It is mid-morning on a Saturday. I go upstairs to wake my daughter who is twenty-one years old and who has a psychology... Read more »
Miss Helen Slingsby was my maiden aunt, And lived in a small house near a fashionable square Cared for by servants to the number of four. Now when she died there was silence in heaven And silence at her end of the street. The shutters were drawn and the undertaker wiped his feet— He was... Read more »
Once or twice in life you find a woman you’d swim the ocean for. What are you doing? friends will ask, as you perfect your stroke, meantime pitying everyone outside of love. Your only obstacle, the blue Pacific— where your sun sinks, she’s dressing in the morning, and when the dawn comes reaching back around,... Read more »
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe,— Sailed on a river of crystal light Into a sea of dew. “Where are you going, and what do you wish?” The old moon asked the three. “We have come to fish for the herring-fish That live in this beautiful sea; Nets of... Read more »
Theirs is a perfection of pure form. Nobody but has his proper place and knows it. Everything they do is functional. Each foray in a zigzag line Each prodigious lifting Of thirty-two times their own weight Each excavation into the earth’s core Each erection Of a crumbly parapetted tower — None of these feats is... Read more »
The text of today’s poem is not available online.