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

The Necessary Brevity of Pleasures by Samuel Hazo | Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Prolonged, they slacken into pain    or sadness in accordance with the law    of apples.             One apple satisfies. Two apples cloy.                      Three apples    glut.          Call it a tug-of-war between enough and more    than enough, between sufficiency    and greed, between the stay-at-homers    and globe-trotting see-the-worlders. Like lovers seeking heaven in excess,    the hopelessly insatiable forget    how passion... Read more »

What Have I Learned by Gary Snyder | Monday, April 24, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

What have I learned but the proper use for several tools? The moments between hard pleasant tasks To sit silent, drink wine, and think my own kind of dry crusty thoughts.        —the first Calochortus flowers        and in all the land,        it’s spring.        I point them out:        the yellow petals, the golden hairs,        to Gen. Seeing... Read more »

Belongings by Margaret Hasse | Sunday, April 23, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

After being a student, then an hourly worker, I became a career girl and earned real money. I left behind a provisional furnished apartment with its stained curtains, butt-burned table and Goodwill mattress I was never sure about. Alone I bought a house with an attic, a basement and a skirt of flowers. Freely I... Read more »

A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost | Saturday, April 22, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year. Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the... Read more »

Roadtrip West by Natalie Safir | Friday, April 21, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

A bright thought flies across my afternoon fighting to stay aloft as my finger, on an old roadmap traces a trip across the desert decades ago, driving west in the early summer of our marriage. We traveled by night in a compact car, small dog panting in the backseat. We fled scalding walls of heat... Read more »

Praise Be by Lowell Jaeger | Thursday, April 20, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Praise be to the not-nearly-a-girl anymore clerking at our local grocery outlet since junior high. Single mom, moved up after a decade of customer service to manage four well-ordered aisles of hairsprays, lipsticks, and youthful glow in glittering squeeze tubes. Familiar red-headed, brown-eyed, gap-toothed smile. Willing to put aside her boxes of chores to chat... Read more »

People Like Us by Robert Bly | Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

      for James Wright There are more like us. All over the world There are confused people, who can’t remember The name of their dog when they wake up, and people Who love God but can’t remember where He was when they went to sleep. It’s All right. The world cleanses itself this way. A wrong... Read more »

Dark and Late by Catherine Abbey Hodges | Tuesday, April 18, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

This dark porch has brimmed with light like a bowl with water like a throat with laughter afternoons of light years of afternoons scintillating dawns flagrant noons underwater-green dusks and nights dark and late lit by candles, hands, eyes with the leap that’s the life we’ve come for, what we carry nonchalant white-knuckled down the... Read more »

Tall Girl Running by Louis Simpson | Monday, April 17, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

There is no gene which single-handedly builds a leg, long or short. Building a leg is a multi-gene cooperative enterprise.           —Richard Dawkins She went running by. I never saw a girl with such long legs. She ran by again. I shouted to her, “You run like an angel.” She smiled and said, “Thank you.” She... Read more »

Returning Home in Winter by David Romtvedt | Sunday, April 16, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I open the door as my wife steps from the bath into the cold air, goose bumps on her skin. She wraps a towel around herself, sees me watching, and unwraps it. When she smiles, her breath rises. The shadow of the bamboo sweeps across the steps without stirring the dusting of snow and we... Read more »

On a Distant Shore by Rosie King | Saturday, April 15, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

among trees people you’ve never seen mingle warmth from hand to hand and melt until they are beams of light woven into a rope that tugs you in where a man whose eyes sparkle into yours lifts his young girl this is my daughter she puts her face close to yours you say hello beauty... Read more »

On a Distant Shore by W. S. Merwin | Friday, April 14, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

The night before sailing from the world I had known that now seems the ancient world to me it was a hot summer night in the humming city the small hours the tiny two-room apartment of a friend the windows wide open above the avenue and behind me three young women crammed in asleep as... Read more »

A little Madness in the Spring by Emily Dickinson | Thursday, April 13, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King, But God be with the Clown— Who ponders this tremendous scene— This whole Experiment of Green— As if it were his own!

Be Kind by Michael Blumenthal | Wednesday, April 12, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Not merely because Henry James said there were but four rules of life— be kind be kind be kind be kind—but because it’s good for the soul, and, what’s more, for others; it may be that kindness is our best audition for a worthier world, and, despite the vagueness and uncertainty of its recompense, a... Read more »

Harmony in the Boudoir by Mark Strand | Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

After years of marriage, he stands at the foot of the bed and tells his wife that she will never know him, that for everything he says there is more that he does not say, that behind each word he utters there is another word, and hundreds more be- hind that one. All those unsaid... Read more »

Poem for the Family by Susan Cataldo | Monday, April 10, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Before I went to sleep, the soft lamplights from the tenements across the street, still, in the night, resembled peace. There is something I forgot to be grateful for. But I’m not uneasy. This poem is enough gratitude for the day. That leaf tapping against the window, enough music for the night. My love’s even... Read more »

The Choir Singing by Grace Paley | Sunday, April 09, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

From the balcony of the Thetford Hill First Congregational Church I look down at the choir singing the adoration of Christ their Lord the high foreheads of the older women shine      why!      that’s the very condition of my own forehead which seemed in the bathroom mirror to appear increasingly intelligent this morning      the delicate daily hair loss contributing... Read more »

At Quarter to Five by Angela Janda | Saturday, April 08, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

I was feeling lonely so I went outside to the wind swept yard and beyond that to the wind-tousled outer yard and found where last night in the moonlight we left two sets of boot prints, when you stopped on your way through the darkness to bring a lemon bar and a movie, and beside... Read more »

It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free by William Wordsworth | Friday, April 07, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free, The holy time is quiet as a nun Breathless with adoration; the broad sun Is sinking down in its tranquility; The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea: Listen! the mighty Being is awake, And doth with his eternal motion make A sound like thunder—everlastingly. Dear Child!... Read more »

My Heart Leaps Up by William Wordsworth | Thursday, April 06, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

My heart leaps up when I behold       A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old,       Or let me die! The Child is father of the man; And I could wish my days to be Bound... Read more »

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