The Writer's Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writ

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writ

United States

A poem each day, plus literary and historical notes from this day in history

Episodes

Gravy by Raymond Carver | Tuesday, July 25, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

No other word will do. For that’s what it was. Gravy. Gravy, these past ten years. Alive, sober, working, loving and being loved by a good woman. Eleven years ago he was told he had six months to live at the rate he was going. And he was going nowhere but down. So he changed... Read more »

Directions to Your College Dorm by Faith Shearin | Monday, July 24, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

All hallways still lead to that room with its ceiling so high it might have been a sky, and your metal bed by the window, and your crate of books. First, you must walk across the deep winter campus to find your friend throwing snowballs that float for years. Then, open our letters: shelves of... Read more »

Hemispheres by Grace Schulman | Sunday, July 23, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Our bodies, lucent under the bedclothes, fit tightly like the pieces of a broken terra-cotta vase now newly mended, smooth surfaces, no jagged edges visible. I’ve read that countries were so interlocked before tectonic heavings, when the ocean parted Mexico and Mauritania. Brazil’s shoulder was hoisted to Nigeria, Italy pressed Libya, Alaska lay so close... Read more »

Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer by Jane Kenyon | Saturday, July 22, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

We turned into the drive, and gravel flew up from the tires like sparks from a fire. So much to be done—the unpacking, the mail and papers…the grass needed mowing…. We climbed stiffly out of the car. The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled. And then we noticed the pear tree, the limbs so heavy... Read more »

timing is everything by Gerald Locklin | Friday, July 21, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

the horoscope this morning really put me on my guard, sent the adrenalin coursing through my veins, as it predicted a crucial confrontation that would require all the will and ingenuity that i could muster … until i remembered i was looking at a week-old student newspaper.

The Drink by Ron Padgett | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I am always interested in the people in films who have just had a drink thrown in their faces. Sometimes they react with uncontrollable rage, but sometimes—my favorites—they do not change their expressions at all. Instead they raise a handkerchief or napkin and calmly dab at the offending liquid, as the hurler jumps to her... Read more »

Brown Penny by William Butler Yeats | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I whispered, ‘I am too young,’ And then, ‘I am old enough’; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. ‘Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.’ Ay, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O... Read more »

The Pleasures of Hating by Laure-Anne Bosselaar | Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I hate Mozart. Hate him with that healthy pleasure one feels when exasperation has crescendoed, when lungs, heart, throat, and voice explode at once: I hate that! — there’s bliss in this, rapture. My shrink tried to disabuse me, convinced I use Amadeus as a prop: Think further; your father perhaps? I won’t go back,... Read more »

Sonnet CVI: “When in the chronicle of wasted time” by William Shakespeare | Monday, July 17, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

When in the chronicle of wasted time I see descriptions of the fairest wights, And beauty making beautiful old rhyme In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best, Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, I see their antique pen would have express’d Even... Read more »

Sea Fever by John Masefield | Sunday, July 16, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I must go down to the seas again, to the       lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer       her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and       the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey       dawn... Read more »

Trying to Pray by Twyla Hansen | Saturday, July 15, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

With my arms raised in a vee, I gather the heavens and bring my hands down slow together, press palms and bow my head. I try to forget the suffering, the wars, the ravage of land that threatens songbirds, butterflies, and pollinators. The ghosts of their wings flutter past my closed eyes as I breathe... Read more »

Carrying Water to the Field by Joyce Sutphen | Friday, July 14, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

And on those hot afternoons in July, when my father was out on the tractor cultivating rows of corn, my mother would send us out with a Mason jar filled with ice and water, a dish towel wrapped around it for insulation. Like a rocket launched to an orbiting planet, we would cut across the... Read more »

Her Sweet Deceit by James Laughlin | Thursday, July 13, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Love has many joys and best are the surprises as when you changed the col- or of your hair to make me think you were someone else not that you fooled me with your sweet deceit I had only to hear you laugh to know both girls were you & that I loved you both... Read more »

This is my letter to the World... by Emily Dickinson | Wednesday, July 12, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

This is my letter to the World That never wrote to Me— The simple News that Nature told— With tender Majesty Her Message is committed To Hands I cannot see— For love of Her—Sweet—countrymen— Judge tenderly—of Me

Again by Rosie King | Tuesday, July 11, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I’m on my knees among the crisp brown crunch then stand       in time to see two boys       slim teens in shorts       white t-shirts faces glowing       talking quietly bounce of a tennis ball fading as they pass and I’m filled again with a crush of old sweetness at how giving a moment can be       as it vanishes the roughened grey branches... Read more »

Woman with a Hole in Her Stocking by Anya Krugovoy Silver | Monday, July 10, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Such a universal female gesture, a woman grabbing the seam of her stocking, tugging it forward over the exposed toe, tucking it under her foot so the tear won’t show. There’s something graceful and humble about the way she will balance, crane-like, on one foot, cradling the other in her hand, her back bent, her... Read more »

Walking Home by Adam Jameson | Sunday, July 09, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Everything dies, I said. How had that started? A tree? The winter? Not me, she said. And I said, Oh yeah? And she said, I’m reincarnating. Ha, she said, See you in a few thousand years! Why years, I wondered, why not minutes? Days? She found that so funny—Ha Ha—doubled over— Years, she said, confidently.... Read more »

Walking Home by Marie Howe | Saturday, July 08, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Everything dies, I said. How had that started? A tree? The winter? Not me, she said. And I said, Oh yeah? And she said, I’m reincarnating. Ha, she said, See you in a few thousand years! Why years, I wondered, why not minutes? Days? She found that so funny—Ha Ha—doubled over— Years, she said, confidently.... Read more »

Prothalamion by Maxine Kumin | Friday, July 07, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

The far court opens for us all July. Your arm, flung up like an easy sail bellying, comes down on the serve in a blue piece of sky barely within reach, and you following tip forward on the smash. The sun sits still on the hard white linen lip of the net. Five-love. Salt runs... Read more »

Sincerely, the Sky by David Hernandez | Thursday, July 06, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Yes, I see you down there looking up into my vastness. What are you hoping to find on my vacant face, there within the margins of telephone wires? You should know I am only bright blue now because of physics: molecules break and scatter my light from the sun more than any other color. You... Read more »

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