The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
The Writer’s Almanac for January 26, 201501/26/15
Why, Dot asks, stuck in the back seat of her sister’s two-door, her freckled hand feeling the roof for the right spot to pull her wide self up onto her left, the unarthritic, ankle—why does her sister, coaching outside on her cane, have to make her...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 25, 2015
Before the beginning Thou hast foreknown the end, Before the birthday the death-bed was seen of Thee: Cleanse what I cannot cleanse, mend what I cannot mend. O Lord All-Merciful, be merciful to me. While the end is drawing near I know not mine end:...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 24, 2015
Nests in the eaves stir in the dawn Ephemeral as our peace Morning prayer Grace before food I understand The endless sky the small earth The shadow cone Your shining Lips and eyes Your thighs drenched with the sea A telescope full of fireflies...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 23, 2015
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...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 22, 2015
When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken —hearted To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this. The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow— It felt like the warning Of what I...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 21, 2015
Like to the falling of a Star; Or as the flights of Eagles are; Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue; Or silver drops of morning dew; Or like a wind that chafes the flood; Or bubbles which on water stood; Even such is man, whose borrowed light Is...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 20, 2015
The text of today’s poem is not available online. Listen to it here.
The Writer’s Almanac for January 19, 2015
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore— Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 18, 2015
In the long July evenings, the French woman who came to stay every summer for two weeks at my aunt’s inn would row my brother and me out to the middle of the mile-wide lake so that the three of us would be surrounded by the wild extravagance of reds...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 17, 2015
Spirits among us have departed—friends, relatives, neighbors: we can’t find them. If we search and call, the sky merely waits. Then some day here come the cranes planing in from cloud or mist—sharp, lonely spears, awkwardly graceful. They reach for...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 16, 2015
And on certain nights, maybe once or twice a year, I’d carry the baby down and all the kids would come all nine of us together, and we’d build a town in the basement from boxes and blankets and overturned chairs. And some lived under the pool table or...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 15, 2015
How like a winter hath my absence been From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! What old December’s bareness everywhere! And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time, The teeming autumn, big with...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 14, 2015
“When can we have cake?” she wants to know. And patiently we explain: when dinner’s finished. Someone wants seconds; and wouldn’t she like to try, while she’s waiting, a healthful lettuce leaf? The birthday girl can’t hide her grief— worse, everybody...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 13, 2015
A gaggle of geese return to our street each winter while migrating from one place to another. They arrive in January, around my husband’s birthday, and I am surprised to find them behind our house, honking like cab drivers in traffic. Most leave with...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 12, 2015
I walk six blocks to the park. Hoarfrost and fog and ten below zero, A full twelve inches of snow. No one believes in the mysteries Anymore, but still once or twice Every year this will happen: Hoarfrost and fog and snow all at once. I don’t often...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 11, 2015
While we are gone, our neighbor finds a long-dead buck in our shed, steeped in snow and wood. A broken leg took him down and he found refuge. The deer that had wandered the hills, had run in front of a car. This is the story we make up to understand...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 10, 2015
I remember our breath in the icy air and how the northern lights gathered in a haze at the horizon, spread up past the water tower then vanished into the dark. I remember that January night in North Dakota: We left the dance, the hoods of our dads’...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 9, 2015
At eleven, my granddaughter looks like my daughter did, that slender body, that thin face, the grace with which she moves. When she visits, she sits with my daughter; they have hot chocolate together and talk. The way my granddaughter moves her hands,...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 8, 2015
Well, Old Flame, the fire’s out. I miss you most at the laundromat. Folding sheets is awkward work Without your help. My nip and tuck Can’t quite replace your hands, And I miss that odd square dance We did. Still, I’m glad to do without Those gaudy...
The Writer’s Almanac for January 7, 2015
All morning in the February light he has been mending cable, splicing the pairs of wires together according to their colors, white-blue to white-blue violet-slate to violet-slate, in the warehouse attic by the river. When he is finished the messages...
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