The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Sometime after I turned forty the fathers from my childhood began disappearing; they had heart attacks during business dinners or while digging their shovels into a late April snow. Some fathers began forgetting things: their phone numbers, which neighborhoods belonged to them, which houses. They had a shortness of breath, the world’s air suddenly too... Read more »
It was 1945, and it was May. White crocus bloomed in St. Louis. The Germans gave in but the war shoved on, and my father came home from work that evening tired and washed his hands not picturing the black-goggled men with code names fashioning an atomic bomb. Maybe he loved his wife that evening.... Read more »
At the drive-in theater where they sell junk on Sundays we saw a man and his wife standing by a pick-up truck trying to sell his anvil. It sat up in the truck’s bed— it was black, heavy, and elegant like a mammoth’s tusk. And his name was written on it like a signature, in... Read more »
We’re not going to die. We’ll find a way. We’ll breathe deeply and eat carefully. We’ll think always on life. There’ll be no fading for you or for me. We’ll be the first and we’ll not laugh at ourselves ever and your children will be my grandchildren. Nothing will have changed except by addition. There’ll... Read more »
Trying to tie my shoes, clumsy, not able to work out the logic of it, fumbling, as my father stands there, his anger growing over a son who can’t even do this simplest thing for the first time, can’t even manage the knot to keep his shoes on—You think someone’s going to tie your shoes... Read more »
In summertime on Bredon The bells they sound so clear; Round both the shires they ring them In steeples far and near, A happy noise to hear. Here of a Sunday morning My love and I would lie, And see the coloured counties, And hear the larks so high About us in the sky. The... Read more »