The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
She taught me linking verbs, predicate nouns, long division, have a Kleenex ready, an apple a day. She taught me three-quarter time, Greenwich Mean Time. She taught me do re mi, Mexicali Rose, Rose, Rose, my Rose of San Antone. She taught me Peas Peas Peas Peas, Eating Goober Peas. She taught me that a... Read more »
It’s the kind of mid-January afternoon— the sky as calm as an empty bed, fields indulgent, black Angus finally sitting down to chew— that makes a girl ride her bike up and down the same muddy track of road between the gray barn and the state highway all afternoon, the black mutt with the white... Read more »
I have just crossed the Rio Grande, And by a string of clever switchbacks Have, for the moment, outwitted the posse. Ahead lie the ghosts of Sierra Madre. Behind, I have nothing but sun, While the condor’s shadow circles over my bones. Though the mountains are steep, my horse doesn’t falter, And now I know... Read more »
Happy the man, and happy he alone, He who can call today his own: He who, secure within, can say, Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today. Be fair or foul or rain or shine The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine. Not Heaven itself upon the past has... Read more »
It’s the first storm of the winter and the worst since 1888, the girl on television said. I keep slipping in my leather-soled shoes. Twice I’ve turned into a windmill in my efforts to keep from falling. At the top of the stairs leading down to the subway, Johnnie watches me, not just with his... Read more »
A life should leave deep tracks: ruts where she went out and back to get the mail or move the hose around the yard; where she used to stand before the sink, a worn-out place; beneath her hand the china knobs rubbed down to white pastilles; the switch she used to feel for in the... Read more »