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

Windnoon by W. S. Merwin | Saturday, May 20, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

On the green hill with the river beyond it long ago and my father there and my grandmother standing in her faded clothes wrinkled high-laced black shoes in the spring grass among the few gravestones inside their low fence by the small white wooden church the clear panes of its windows letting the scene through... Read more »

Plentitude by Ann Iverson | Monday, June 26, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Even near the very end the frail cat of many years came to sit with me among the glitter of bulb and glow tried to the very last to drink water and love her small world would not give up on her curious self. And though she staggered — shriveled and weak still she poked... Read more »

Sunday Morning Early by David Romtvedt | Sunday, June 25, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

My daughter and I paddle red kayaks across the lake. Pulling hard, we slip easily through the water. Far from either shore, it hits me that my daughter is a young woman and suddenly everything is a metaphor for how short a time we are granted: the red boats on the blue-black water, the russet... Read more »

Petition by K.A. Hays | Saturday, June 24, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Here floats the mind on summer’s dock. The knees loose up, hands dither off, the eyes have never heard of clocks. The mind won’t feel the hours, the mind spreads wide among the hours, wide in sun. Dear sun, who gives the vision but is not the vision. Who is the body and the bodies... Read more »

Habitats by Marylen Grigas | Friday, June 23, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

You can take Vermont, the edge of the woods in tears even with spring’s sky-blue gown as you prowl through those trees bird whistle on a lanyard and compass tucked in your camouflage pants. I want Montana for myself, some little-known hot spring, glimpse of wild horses running, notebooks, novels, no plans as the sky... Read more »

Blessing by Irene Blair Honeycutt | Thursday, June 22, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

May time grant you the lasting memory of the summer night                  on Jonas Ridge when we were walking the dogs, late— the white rail fence, our guide. When we turned back toward the cabin, darkness pressed                  against our faces and a host of fireflies flashed in the mist                  settling on the fields, blinking green from... Read more »

The Arrival of the Past by Scott Owens | Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

You wake wanting the dream you left behind in sleep, water washing through everything, clearing away sediment of years, uncovering the lost and forgotten. You hear the sun breaking on cold grass, on eaves, on stone steps outside. You see light igniting sparks of dust in the air. You feel for the first time in... Read more »

Patty’s Charcoal Drive-In by Barbara Crooker | Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

First job. In tight black shorts and a white bowling shirt, red lipstick and bouncing ponytail, I present each overflowing tray as if it were a banquet. I’m sixteen and college-bound; this job’s temporary as the summer sun, but right now it’s the boundaries of my life. After the first few nights of mixed orders... Read more »

Yellow Lab Outside the Coffee Shop by Greg Watson | Monday, June 19, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

The yellow lab outside the coffee shop today cannot sit still; but instead radiates the ever-expectant energy of a thousand hummingbirds, tail sweeping back and forth across the gray, littered sidewalk. Sits without touching the ground, knowing that any moment the one who matters most will emerge, slip his worn leash from the bench and... Read more »

There Comes the Strangest Moment by Kate Light | Sunday, June 18, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

There comes the strangest moment in your life, when everything you thought before breaks free— what you relied upon, as ground-rule and as rite looks upside down from how it used to be. Skin’s gone pale, your brain is shedding cells; you question every tenet you set down; obedient thoughts have turned to infidels and... Read more »

To Daffodils by Robert Herrick | Saturday, June 17, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Fair daffodils, we weep to see      You haste away so soon: As yet the early-rising sun      Has not attained his noon                Stay, stay,      Until the hasting day                Has run      But to the evensong; And, having prayed together, we      Will go with you along. We have short time to stay as you;      We have as short... Read more »

Waiting by John Burroughs | Friday, June 16, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,      Nor care for wind nor tide nor sea; I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,      For lo! my own shall come to me. I stay my haste, I make delays—      For what avails this eager pace? I stand amid the eternal ways      And what is mine shall... Read more »

The scent of apple cake by Marge Piercy | Thursday, June 15, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

My mother cooked as drudgery the same fifteen dishes round and round like a donkey bound to a millstone grinding dust. My mother baked as a dance, the flour falling from the sifter in a rain of fine white pollen. The sugar was sweet snow. The dough beneath her palms was the warm flesh of... Read more »

A Thunderstorm In Town by Thomas Hardy | Wednesday, June 14, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

She wore a new ‘terra-cotta’ dress, And we stayed, because of the pelting storm, Within the hansom’s dry recess, Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless       We sat on, snug and warm. Then the downpour ceased, to my sharp sad pain And the glass that had screened our forms before Flew up, and out she... Read more »

Mercy by William Shakespeare | Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest,— It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The thronèd monarch better than his crown: His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The... Read more »

From “Ode: “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth | Monday, June 12, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,              The earth, and every common sight                        To me did seem              Apparell’d in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it has been of yore;—                        Turn wheresoe’er I may,                        By night or day, The things which I have seen... Read more »

Folding My Clothes by Julia Alvarez | Sunday, June 11, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

Tenderly she would take them down and fold the arms in and fold again where my back should go until she made a small tight square of my chest, a knot of socks where my feet blossomed into toes, a stack of denim from the waist down, my panties strictly packed into the size of... Read more »

Blindman by David Wagoner | Saturday, June 10, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

He waits by the quiet street, His cane, his fingers, And his listening face Trembling, not out of fear But alert with wonder At what lies just beyond The end of what he is And all he remembers As now he steps forward Into his near future As deliberately as a spider Scuttling from stone... Read more »

Sonnet 43: How do I love thee, let me count the ways by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Friday, June 09, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday’s Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. I love thee... Read more »

Chivalry by Debra Spencer | Thursday, June 08, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

He strolls down the middle of the sidewalk leaving little room for me. I lag behind to get around an open gate, to avoid a fence post, a mailbox sticking out. You don’t walk as fast as you used to, he says, striding ahead on his personal red carpet, feet turned slightly out, a spring... Read more »

Father by Ted Kooser | Wednesday, June 07, 2017 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor  

May 19, 1999 Today you would be ninety-seven if you had lived, and we would all be miserable, you and your children, driving from clinic to clinic, an ancient, fearful hypochondriac and his fretful son and daughter, asking directions, trying to read the complicated, fading map of cures. But with your dignity intact you have... Read more »

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