The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
All night, snow, then, near dawn, freezing rain, so that by morn- ing the whole city glistens in a glaze of high-pitched, meticulously polished brilliance, every, thing rounded off, the cars submerged nearly to their windows in the unbroken drifts lining the narrow alleys, the buildings rising from the trunklike integuments the wind has against... Read more »
Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o’er a perfum’d sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore. On desperate seas wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the... Read more »
Nearly sixteen years ago, you made your way into this world, calm and quiet, with none of the fuss or emergency of Sean and Nate. Mom didn’t break a sweat. When you started crawling, you strutted, hands gaiting out like a Tennessee Walker’s, your head held high, eyes gleaming. You swam at three, floating to... Read more »
Twelfth grade reading lists stretched out as endless as the sentences we diagrammed, as orderly as the outlines for our senior essays— “Humanism in England in the Fourteenth Century” I think I wrote about, cobbling facts together about Erasmus and the Church, forgetting those were plague years, and Henry David Thoreau’s pithy quotes, marching to... Read more »
She’s stopped to shop for groceries. Her snow boots sloshing up and down the aisles, the store deserted: couple stock boys droning through cases of canned goods, one sleepy checker at the till. In the parking lot, an elderly man stands mumbling outside his sedan, all four doors wide to gusting sleet and ice. She... Read more »
Midnight to eight I spend with machines, with their incessant hum, the hubbub and scrape, the snip-snip, the whine of well-oiled tongues that winds through the night. I listen to lathes go round, to mills that peck at each part-piece like hungry birds, to grinders whose bit-sized teeth make ultra-fine dust, golden iotas drawn toward... Read more »