Poetic Lament

There are many sad things going on these days. Unfortunately as icons fall, some of their good works fall with them.  I have read Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on a daily basis for years.  Almost all of the poetry I read is inspired by the Almanac – either more poems by the featured poet or work of others mentioned in the “on this day” section.

When I heard the news about Garrison in November, the first thing I did was to search online to see if the archives were still around, hoping the APM (American Public Media) would publish them on their own. I’ve checked every week since then.  Nothing.  I even talked to Dale to see if he knew whether Garrison was going to continue on another platform.  Probably not.

So now I’m officially in mourning. I love poetry and I’m struggling to figure out where to get my poetry fix these days. I’m know there’s lots of poetry out there but the Almanac was such a perfect setting for me that I’m thinking that my world from here on in will just be a little sadder for the loss of it.

Two questions today:
Is there a product you’ve had to learn to live without?
Where do you recommend I go for my poetry fix?”

36 thoughts on “Poetic Lament”

  1. Maybe you should look into taking a poetry writing class at the Loft. It gets your head into the realm of poetry in a way that just reading or hearing it never can. And you get to meet a bunch of other people with compatable interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The perfect thing about WA was that I didn’t have to get my head into the realm of poetry. Just a little dip of the toe in poetic waters every morning. Aaahhhhh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Writer’s Almanac too though I didn’t always read it, I loved knowing it was there every morning in my email. Trying to think where to go next for your fix.


  3. As to the first question…I’m in my annual winter “drought” of fresh, raw goat milk….while my friend’s girls rest getting ready to bear more kids.


  4. I’m not a poetry person as you all know far too well, but I am not doing well with the idea that that voice has been silenced.

    I’ve come to terms with the fact that there will be no more songs by David Bowie, no more movies with Alan Rickman in them, and Dame Rebecca West will never finish her Cousin Rosamund trilogy. I know and understand why that is.

    I don’t know or understand this one. Yes, I get all the rights and royalities stuff and I can understand why Garrison is probably not going to re-emerge as I have great hopes Al Franken will. I even understand confidentiality. But I have been given no acceptable explanation for the obliteration of a lifetime of work.

    I don’t want to be reasoned with, I don’t want to be browbeat about how we “can’t make excuses and allowances”. I grew up in a country with due process. I’m not sure I can learn to live without that.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re not going to like this.
      Due process has never been a feature of business, even non profits. Businesses are not democratic institutions. That’s why it makes no sense to choose political leaders on the strength of their business success. Garrison Keillor was not arrested. Since he had retired, you can’t even say he was fired. His contracts with MPR were annulled.

      MPR could have done that at any time, with or without an harassment excuse. Maybe they had already been looking for a way to do that and thought the harassment charge would give them cover. At any rate it was within their purview.

      What would “due process” have looked like? His accuser would have been publicly exposed. Garrison would have denied her claims, perhaps. If her claims were genuine, there may have been earlier complaints that MPR could have brought forth. These things are seldom one-offs. At best, the result would have been inconclusive, leaving MPR exactly where they were anyway.

      One could say that MPR was ungrateful, given all that GK had done for their fortunes and in a way, that would be true. But Garrison was well-compensated by MPR as well. As I’ve speculated before, I think a lot of the seemingly tactless handling of the separation can be attributed to the advice of lawyers.

      Everything ends eventually. I suspect that MPR was looking toward that future and trying to get in front of it. Maybe they will be able to replace GK’s properties with something equally popular, maybe not, but businesses like to have some control over what happens next.
      You are perfectly free not to like it, you can resent MPR for doing it, but seeing the event as an abrogation of due process is misplaced and pure fantasy.


      1. You’re right. I don’t like it.

        You are on strong ground, Bill, when you say business isn’t bound to due process. The business of business is to make profits. While true, that can also be used as an excuse for business conduct that ignores standards of good taste and respect. It might be in the interest of MPR to chuck Garrison out like old garbage, but to me it is unseemly and boorish. I might be sensitive to that because so many people were delighted that we got a businessman to lead this country, and what has followed from that is exactly what I expected from someone whose professional life ignores ethics and appropriate respect for others.

        MPR worked hard to style itself as the sort of organization we should love because it gave us GK. Well, MPR has a new identity with me as a place that rudely dropped GK and didn’t have the decency to act sorry about it.

        I have a long memory. I remember when MPR cancelled The Morning Show because (they said) it was an old show nobody was listening to. And then when listeners rose up in fury, MPR suddenly changed its mind, later bragging during pledge drives that the Morning Show was the most popular show they were running and we should love MPR because they were making that possible. And then, still later, the organization dropped Dale when he no longer seemed profitable to them. And if MPR ever publicly acknowledged his great contributions over the years, I didn’t hear anything about it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s important to keep in mind, as hard as it is to accept, is that unless you are a manufacturer of adult diapers or medical alerts we are nobody’s future and nobody’s target market.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. it is lack of due process
        he was relieved of his audience based on accusations by a keeper of the keys

        art shouldn’t be politics

        a president of the hour shouldn’t be able to eliminate access to a life’s work

        if we took all the writers and performers who had an accusation surface off the shelves and out of the archives it would be a pity

        doing it to garrison is a pity


      3. Bill, you are not telling me anything I don’t know. I didn’t need your explanation nor classification of my point as “fantasy”. I thought my original statement made that clear.

        There are lots of ways MPR could have given a solid explanation without exposing anyone. They chose not to, alluding to “many incidents” and letting people’s imaginations run wild.

        I’m also well aware that public opinion is not subject to legal due process, but as Steve says, MPR has always marketed themselves as being “above the rest” in terms of integrity. They have chosen to not provide enough information for listeners to make a reasoned decision. Since I must speculate, I will speculate that their dealings were less than honorable and act accordingly. Garrison had voluntarily moved on, I can think of no reason other than financial for them to obliterate him.

        I will further point out that as far as marketing goes, yes, diaper buyers are an important market if you are selling diapers.

        Having been a diaper buyer, I can tell you they are probably not the top market for people looking at organisations to bestow their largesse on. You can dispute that all you like, but a quick glance at what tpt runs as “special programming” during pledge time would seem to bear me out.

        At our house, we look at that line-up and hit the library for movies. I’m not THAT old.

        In the spirit of the MeToo movement, I am going to play my “woman card” and state clearly that while I think we need to listen to women, it does women no good to suddenly have everything they claim taken as actionable truth.

        Women should be treated as rational adults who are listened to, questioned, and held to personal responsibility. Valorously riding out to defend “women” against all comers does not empower them, it infantalising them.

        It is insulting to think there is no way for an accusing woman to be respectfully questioned.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Further: MPR was indeed within their legal rights to end their business relationship with Mr Keillor for any reason whatsoever, including “only old people like that stuff and they just buy Depends”.

        But that’s not what we were told.

        We were given vague allusions that denounced his character. It may be legal, it may be “just business”, but it doesn’t uphold the values Americans claim to cherish.


  5. WP ate my first attempt at this.
    I’ve learned to live without my favorite hair stylist and massage therapist for the last year and a half. I hope to fill one if not two of the gaps the next time I am in the Cities. I have no doubt that people exist here who can successfully replace them – I just have not found them yet.
    Not a product, but I am doing without: Trader Joe’s for certain items at cheaper prices than the (excellent) local co-op. And there is no Half Price Books available without a 2-hour drive.

    As for the poetry, mig has expressed my frustration with losing this source. We can still find GK’s Good Poems books, and I see there are collections like Karen McCoster’s Poem a Day: 366 poems, old and new… But it’s not the same as being able to find them at the click of a mouse. I wonder if, given a little more time, someone else will step in with something similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, BiR, I can see that living without Trader Joe’s would be a challenge, but just think! – you no longer have to live with loving a certain product of theirs and then finding down the road that they’ve discontinued it.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. call garrison tell him you’d like archives and you have disowned mpr100%

    i think he is probably going through the 7 stages of death and dying

    if he doesn’t do it today he will when he realizes we love him not them

    what have i learned to do without? lots… i used to have lots then it went away that’s referring to stuff like a house and art and vacations yearly and spare time income and choice

    today i am left out of decision process the circumstance takes me as a dance partner and spins me around the floor a waltz a rhumba a twist… i do have to live without the things i loved once that went away the morning show my dad my old dog garrison a good friend who moved away clyde and donna

    there are so many choices to realize that instead of lamenting i celebrate my ability to choose my paths

    tim jones


    Liked by 5 people

  7. Of course, the loss of several pets…including dogs, horses, goats and cats…even chickens and rabbits. Including this year losing Madame HIldegard, the English Mastiff who was with me only 2 years and my Icelandic mare, Ising.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I agree with Bill that the Loft might be a good place to start, although there are so many things going on in the Twin Cities that you truly could be doing something different almost every night – and at no or little cost. This coming Wednesday evening at the American Swedish Institute they’re having a free event that might interest you. Here are some details, and a phone number for additional information:
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 – 7:00pm

    In 1966, Minnesota poet and writer Robert Bly co-founded American Writers Against the Vietnam War and went on to lead much of the opposition to that war among writers.

    His wife Ruth Bly is carrying on the tradition with a new cause at heart, the environment. With Poets and Writers and Musicians Against the War on the Earth, she brings together a talented group of local poets and musicians and is inviting everyone to gather and honor all of creation in spoken word and song.

    Guests include: Ruth Bly, Phil Bryant, Tim Frantzich, Jim Heynen, Ezra Hyland, Prudence Johnson, Athena Kildegaard, Klecko, Thorne LaPointe, Wakinyan LaPointe, Jim Lenfestey, Freya Manfred, Ardie Medina, Matt Rasmussen, Sharon Schmielarz, Thomas R. Smith, Bart Sutter

    This event is co-sponsored by Climate Generation, Minnesota Power and Light, Cool Planet, and Citizens Climate Lobby.

    For information, call 612-871-4907

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve learned to do without the Hungarian raisin rye from St. Agnes. I used to buy it regularly at their Saturday retail sales. I did some research and was told there is a market in Minneapolis that gets a loaf with their weekly delivery every Friday, but I haven’t yet gotten there to find out if I can snag one. It seems like you probably have to get there early.

    I would willingly give up anything, though, to have The Morning Show back. My mornings have not been the same since its demise. Its untimely demise.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Demises are seldom timely. I think the Longfellow Market, a few blocks from my house, gets St. Agnes Hungarian Raisin Rye on occasion. I don’t know exactly which day though. Maybe we can work out a relay of some sort…


  10. My position on loss is not rosy. To live is to come to love things and people and pets. Loving things and people and pets leads to heartbreak when we lose them. And we do lose them. To some extent, losses can be balanced by learning to love new things, new pets, new people. But many things we come to love are unique, and we can never replace them. Do with that what you will. For me, it means I should love and appreciate deeply because everything we have is transient.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks everybody for ideas. I did find that on Poetry Magazine a few of the poems are read by the authors, so that’s fun. And I also found a Poem-a-Day site, so we’ll see how it goes. Part of the issue for me is that Garrison and I had similar tastes in poetry – the poems that he likes are often poems that I like. We”ll see how it goes with these new sites!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.