The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
The text of today’s poem is not available online.
In the tower the bell is alone, like a man in his room, thinking and thinking. The bell is made of iron. It takes the weight of a man to make the bell move. Far below, the bell feels hands on a rope. It considers this. It turns its head. Miles away, a man in... Read more »
Atop the ridge near the driveway, small ramparts of sandy dirt behind her, a snapping turtle lays her eggs at dusk. Her eyes, heavy-lidded, blink with boredom at her audience. Supreme in her ill-chosen spot, her helmet of stink, the algae like wet war ribbons clinging to her carapace, she appears exhausted with ancientness. Behind... Read more »
Evenings at the table with my father, stewing over algebraic equations, chemical reactions, my young life sloped toward science and healing. He didn’t recognize, nor did I, how I fingered letters the way the devout touch prayer beads, that I held them up to my ear to hear the music they made when strung together,... Read more »
Praise be this morning for sleeping late, the sandy sheets, the ocean air, the midnight storm that blew its waters in. Praise be the morning swim, mid-tide, the clear sands underneath our feet, the dogs who leap into the waves, their fur, sticky with salt, the ball we throw again and again. Praise be the... Read more »
It wasn’t that he wanted to take his life. He wanted to take his death into his own hands. There was a difference, he knew, though he couldn’t articulate it. More speculative than suicidal, more curious than depressed, more interested than not, he didn’t want to talk to a therapist. He wanted to talk to... Read more »