The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind —
“In that year, 1914, we lived on the farm And the relatives lived with us. A banner year for wild blackberries Dad was crazy about wild blackberries No berries like that now. You know Kitsap County was logged before The turn of the century—it was easiest of all, Close to water, virgin timber, When I... Read more »
occur. Some days I find myself putting my foot in the same stream twice; leading a horse to water and making him drink. I have a clue. I can see the forest for the trees. All around me people are making silk purses out of sows’ ears, getting blood from turnips, building Rome in a... Read more »
The plains ignore us, but these mountains listen, an audience of thousands holding its breath in each rock. Climbing, we pick our way over the skulls of small talk. On the prairies below us, the grass leans this way and that in discussion; words fly away like corn shucks over the fields. Here, lost in... Read more »
Whenever we needed to cross the Arkansas, we had to take the dirt road to the ferry. My father would drive. My mother would fret about missing the on-ramp, driving off the other end, getting caught by the dark. After we bumped ourselves on with a few other cars, after the ferry coughed us away... Read more »
You were the one for skylights. I opposed Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed, Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling, The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling. Under there, it was all hutch and hatch. The blue slates kept the heat like midnight... Read more »