The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Three of my cousins are deaf. But I have lots of cousins, so the deaf ones were always in the minority at family gatherings where they’d commandeer a couch or the kitchen table and juggle their hands. It was a language the rest of us didn’t understand because we never bothered to learn it. Their... Read more »
I always have to be doing something, accomplishing some- thing, fixing something, going somewhere, feeling purposeful, useful, competent—even coughing, as I just did, gives me the satisfaction of having “just cleared something up.” The phone bill arrives and minutes later I’ve written the check. The world starts to go to war and I shout, “Hey,... Read more »
We can’t hear what they’re saying, but that man is holding that woman in his arms. Your assignment is to deduce their thoughts from what they do. They’ve left no apparent space between their bodies. It could be called a close embrace, but notice her arms are at her sides, her hands relaxed, her face... Read more »
I think it must be very nice To stroll about upon the ice, Night and day, day and night, Wearing only black and white, Always in your Sunday best— Black tailcoat and pearl-white vest. To stroll about so pleasantly Beside the cold and silent sea Would really suit me to a T! I think it... Read more »
Peace on my little town, a speck in the safe, comforting, impersonal immensity of Kansas. Benevolence like a gentle haze on its courthouse (the model of Greek pillars to me) on its quiet little bombshell of a library, on its continuous, hidden, efficient sewer system. Sharp, amazed, steadfast regard on its more upright citizenry, my... Read more »
They no longer sleep quite as well as they did when they were younger. He lies awake thinking of things that happened years ago, turning uncomfortably from time to time, pulling on the blankets. She worries about money. First one and then the other is awake during the night, in shifts as if keeping watch,... Read more »