The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore— Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name... Read more »
In the long July evenings, the French woman who came to stay every summer for two weeks at my aunt’s inn would row my brother and me out to the middle of the mile-wide lake so that the three of us would be surrounded by the wild extravagance of reds that had transformed both lake... Read more »
Spirits among us have departed—friends, relatives, neighbors: we can’t find them. If we search and call, the sky merely waits. Then some day here come the cranes planing in from cloud or mist—sharp, lonely spears, awkwardly graceful. They reach for the land; they stalk the ploughed fields, not letting us near, not quite our own,... Read more »
And on certain nights, maybe once or twice a year, I’d carry the baby down and all the kids would come all nine of us together, and we’d build a town in the basement from boxes and blankets and overturned chairs. And some lived under the pool table or in the bathroom or the boiler... Read more »
How like a winter hath my absence been From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! What old December’s bareness everywhere! And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time, The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime, Like widow’d wombs... Read more »
“When can we have cake?” she wants to know. And patiently we explain: when dinner’s finished. Someone wants seconds; and wouldn’t she like to try, while she’s waiting, a healthful lettuce leaf? The birthday girl can’t hide her grief— worse, everybody laughs. That makes her sink two rabbity, gapped teeth, acquired this year, into a... Read more »