O, What a Luxury
“When I was 16, my English teacher tried to interest me in Mr. Frost’s guy who stopped in the woods to see snow fall and Mr. Eliot’s guy who was not sure whether he should eat a peach, but it was like serving bran flakes to someone who’d eaten buttermilk pancakes slathered with maple syrup. Once you’ve read Lewis Carroll and Ogden Nash and W.S. Gilbert and orated Annabel Lee and discovered the great Anon who gave us
There was a young man of Antietam
Passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train is standing in the station, I love you
There is no turning back. Call it light verse or call it peanut butter, it’s your bent. Why would you stand in the snowy woods at night when you could be the very model of a modern major-general with information vegetable, animal, and mineral?”
— Garrison Keillor
Read a few poems from O, What a Luxury:
From the Publisher:
“America’s foremost humorist and social pundit … Keillor’s running commentary about the human condition has the uncanny ability to home in on the pulse of America.” —PBS
O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound collects verse written by Garrison Keillor, most of it for performance on A Prairie Home Companion. These poems are about places — Kansas, Sunset Boulevard, Seattle (“everything is uphill in Seattle”), Minnesota, Manhattan (“If the Oyster Bar is fresh out of oysters/ We’ll take the subway up to the Cloisters”) — fatherhood (“That old man in the garage once let loose a great barrage”), and odes to Mozart, onion soup, plumbers, the importance of honking your own horn, and the Republican lady from Knoxville who bought her brassieres by the boxful.
And of course love:
“Love is the universal sport
The night is dark and life is short
The heart is open, always willing,
The touch of skin is so fulfilling.
Darling, when I look at you
Touch is push and push is shove
I’m in love.”
From the Prairie Home Companion archives
“Back in the Day”:
The Writer’s Almanac
Poetry is very important to Mr. Keillor and aside from writing poetry, he is also widely recognized for his work through the daily radio program/podcast/website, The Writer’s Almanac.