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The Writer's Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

American Public Media

Arts, Literature, Education, Society & Culture, History

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Literature 14
Arts 61

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

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Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o’er a perfum’d sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore. On desperate seas wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the... Read more »

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Nearly sixteen years ago, you made your way into this world, calm and quiet, with none of the fuss or emergency of Sean and Nate. Mom didn’t break a sweat. When you started crawling, you strutted, hands gaiting out like a Tennessee Walker’s, your head held high, eyes gleaming. You swam at three, floating to... Read more »

Twelfth grade reading lists stretched out as endless as the sentences we diagrammed, as orderly as the outlines for our senior essays— “Humanism in England in the Fourteenth Century” I think I wrote about, cobbling facts together about Erasmus and the Church, forgetting those were plague years, and Henry David Thoreau’s pithy quotes, marching...

She’s stopped to shop for groceries. Her snow boots sloshing up and down the aisles, the store deserted: couple stock boys droning through cases of canned goods, one sleepy checker at the till. In the parking lot, an elderly man stands mumbling outside his sedan, all four doors wide to gusting sleet and ice. She... Read more »