The Writer's Almanac
Each day, Garrison Keillor reads a poem and relates stories of significant events touching literary history.
Midnight to eight I spend with machines, with their incessant hum, the hubbub and scrape, the snip-snip, the whine of well-oiled tongues that winds through the night. I listen to lathes go round, to mills that peck at each part-piece like hungry birds, to grinders whose bit-sized teeth make ultra-fine dust, golden iotas drawn toward... Read more »
The text of today’s poem is not available online.
It’s me and the mothers, out in the foyer. Linoleum floors, knotty-pine, late ’50s rumpus room— long row of trophies, blue ribbons on a shelf. I’m here with my daughter, who’s four. Who, because no one gives princess lessons, has opted for dancing. She likes the tutus, the tap shoes, the tights. The teachers are... Read more »
When I was a child I once sat sobbing on the floor Beside my mother’s piano As she played and sang For there was in her singing A shy yet solemn glory My smallness could not hold And when I was asked Why I was crying I had no words for it I only shook... Read more »
Nights when I can’t sleep, I listen to the sea lions barking from the rocks off the lighthouse. I look out the black window into the black night and think about fish stirring the oceans. Muscular tuna, their lunge and thrash churning the water, whipping up a squall, storm of hunger. Herring cruising, river of... Read more »
After an argument, my family always dined at the Chinese restaurant. Something about the Orient washed the bitterness away. Like a riverbank where you rest for awhile. The owner bowed as we entered. The face of one who had seen too much. A revolution. The torture of loved ones. Horrors he would never reveal. His... Read more »