The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

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A poem each day, plus literary and historical notes from this day in historyMore from The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor »

Most Recent Episodes

Nurse's Song by William Blake | Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with G...

When the voices of children are heard on the green And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast And every thing else is still Then come home my children, the sun is gone down And the dews of night arise Come come leave off play, and let us... Read more »

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A Quiet Life by Baron Wormser | Tuesday, February 09, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Gar...

What a person desires in life is a properly boiled egg. This isn't as easy as it seems. There must be gas and a stove, the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills, banks that dispense the lozenge of capital. There must be a pot, the product of mines and furnaces and factories, of dim early mornings... Read more »

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On the Back Porch by Dorianne Laux | Monday, February 08, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with...

The cat calls for her dinner. On the porch I bend and pour brown soy stars into her bowl, stroke her dark fur. It's not quite night. Pinpricks of light in the eastern sky. Above my neighbor's roof, a transparent moon, a pink rag of cloud. Inside my house are those who love me. My... Read more »

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Thin Ice by Gary Snyder | Sunday, February 07, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

Walking in February A warm day after a long freeze On an old logging road Below Sumas Mountain Cut a walking stick of alder, Looked down through clouds On wet fields of the Nooksack— And stepped on the ice Of a frozen pool across the road. It creaked The white air under Sprang away, long... Read more »

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What Work Is by Philip Levine | Saturday, February 06, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Ga...

We stand in the rain in a long line waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work. You know what work is—if you're old enough to read this you know what work is, although you may not do it. Forget you. This is about waiting, shifting from one foot to another. Feeling the light rain falling... Read more »

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In Space by Jane Hirshfield | Friday, February 05, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

In space (the experiment suggested by two fifth graders), a Canadian astronaut wrings water out of a towel. It stays by the towel, horizontal transparent isinglass, a hyaline column. Then begins to cover his hands, his wrists, stays on them until he passes it to another towel. On earth some who watch this recognize the... Read more »

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The Cross of Snow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Thursday, February 04, 2016 | The Writer...

In the long, sleepless watches of the night, A gentle face—the face of one long dead— Looks at me from the wall, where round its head The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light. Here in this room she died; and soul more white Never through martyrdom of fire was led To its repose; nor... Read more »

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Grace by Judith Moffett | Wednesday, February 03, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

It comes when you're not looking. Has been there Before you noticed. Blazes forth between The hickory's new leaves, their tender green Massy above you flopped into a chair, Hot from the garden, with an aching back. Two phoebes flit from tree to eave to tree Feeding the tyrant nestlings you can't see; You watch... Read more »

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What Love Cannot Do by January Gill O'Neil | Tuesday, February 02, 2016 | The Writer's Alm...

It cannot save itself when it expires like a tire's slow leak. It cannot bring back the greediness of youth mouth on mouth, skin on skin, that gnawing, that longing you carried until the next time and then there is no next time. You never see it coming but always see it leaving. It waits... Read more »

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Quarantine, 1918 by Faith Shearin | Monday, February 01, 2016 | The Writer's Almanac with ...

There were towns that knew about the flu before it arrived; they had time to imagine the germs on a stranger's skirts, to see how death could be sealed in an envelope, how a fever could bloom in the evening, and take a life overnight. A few villages, deep in the mountains, posted guards on... Read more »

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