The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
When I was five, my father, who loved me, ran me over with a medium-sized farm tractor. I was lucky though; I tripped and slipped into a small depression, which caused the wheels to tread lightly on my leg, which had already been broken (when I was three) by a big dog, who liked to... Read more »
Cut grass lies frail: Brief is the breath Mown stalks exhale. Long, long the death It dies in the white hours Of young-leafed June With chestnut flowers, With hedges snowlike strewn, White lilac bowed, Lost lanes of Queen Anne’s lace, And that high-builded cloud Moving at summer’s pace.
So strange to hear that song again tonight Traveling on business in a rented car Miles from anywhere I’ve been before. And now a tune I haven’t heard for years Probably not since it last left the charts Back in L.A. in 1969. I can’t believe I know the words by heart And can’t think... Read more »
Trucks roll down I-5, trailers full of tomatoes. Almost always they’ll spill a few as they round a corner, hard, small fruit bouncing over asphalt, a bright scattering of red on the road’s shoulder of star thistle and tarweed. Maybe you left the house angry over an argument with your wife, words in the air... Read more »
During Harriet’s memorial service, Frances leaned, put her head on my shoulder and died—quietly as if she didn’t want to interrupt Harriet’s program. The minister didn’t see us, no one knew except me. At the piano, Mary played the introduction to Going Home. Everyone thumbed their hymnals for page two hundred forty-three. I didn’t know... Read more »
I went dancing in Stockholm at a public dancing place Out-of-doors. It was a beautiful summer evening, Summer as it could only come in Sweden in nineteen-fifty. You had to be young to go there. Or maybe you could be old. But I didn’t even see old people then. Humanity was divided into male and... Read more »