The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
When the foreman whistled My brother and I Shouldered our hoes, Leaving the field. We returned to the bus Speaking In broken English, in broken Spanish The restaurant food, The tickets to a dance We wouldn’t buy with our pay. From the smashed bus window, I saw the leaves of cotton plants Like small hands... Read more »
Geniuses of countless nations Have told their love for generations Till all their memorable phrases Are common as goldenrod or daisies. Their girls have glimmered like the moon, Or shimmered like a summer noon, Stood like lily, fled like fawn, Now like sunset, now like dawn, Here the princess in the tower, There the sweet... Read more »
Our father owned a star, and by its light we lived in father’s house and slept at night. The tragedy of life, like death and war, were faces looking in at our front door. But finally all came in, from near and far: you can’t believe in locks and own a star.
Tonight we find them again, parked under the stars (no one ever eats inside in Heaven), beeping the tired carhop with her pageboy and mascara for a paper boat of French fries drenched in sauce, a smashed hamburger baptized with spices. They’re sixteen and in love; the night is hot, sweet and tangy on their... Read more »
Something went crabwise across the snow this morning. Something went hard and slow over our hayfield. It could have been a raccoon lugging a knapsack, it could have been a porcupine carrying a tennis racket, it could have been something supple as a red fox dragging the squawk and spatter of a crippled woodcock. Ten... Read more »
We bought a house made of mud and straw. Thieves stole my sewing machine and my turquoise ring. They stole your music, and the needle you lowered with one steady finger. To lose these things. I learned. We had a little girl and I never let her out of my arms. Summer nights we sat... Read more »