The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
3 AM, the night is absolutely still; Snow squeals beneath my skis, plumes on the turns. I stop at the canyon’s edge, stand looking out Over the Great Valley, over the millions — In bed, drunk, loving, tending mills, furnaces, Alone, wakeful, as the world rolls in chaos. The quarter moon rises in the black... Read more »
Tonight at sunset walking on the snowy road, my shoes crunching on the frozen gravel, first through the woods, then out into the open fields past a couple of trailers and some pickup trucks, I stop and look at the sky. Suddenly: orange, red, pink, blue, green, purple, yellow, gray, all at once and everywhere.... Read more »
From a half block off I see you coming, walking briskly along, carrying parcels, furtively glancing up into the faces of people approaching, looking for someone you know, holding your smile in your mouth like a pebble, keeping it moist and ready, being careful not to swallow. I know that hope so open on your... Read more »
When everyone had gone I sat in the library With the small silent tree, She and I alone. How softly she shone! And for the first time then For the first time this year, I felt reborn again, I knew love’s presence near. Love distant, love detached And strangely without weight, Was with me in... Read more »
A little girl is singing for the faithful to come ye Joyful and triumphant, a song she loves, And also the partridge in a pear tree And the golden rings and the turtle doves. In the dark streets, red lights and green and blue Where the faithful live, some joyful, some troubled, Enduring the cold... Read more »
I still think about the shepherds, how many stars They saw. We owe our love of God to these sheep That had to be followed, or companioned, all night. One can’t just let them run. By midnight The stars had already become huge talkers. The Parent sits in her proud Chair, and is punished. The... Read more »