Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

O, What a Luxury

Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound

by Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor’s first collection of his very own poems, a delightful book for all his devoted fans.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 192
  • Publication Date January 13, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2284-1
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.00

About The Book

O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound is the first poetry collection written by Garrison Keillor, the celebrated radio host of A Prairie Home Companion. Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, this volume forges a new path for him, as a poet of light verse. He writes—with his characteristic combination of humor and insight—on love, modernity, nostalgia, politics, religion, and other facets of daily life. Keillor’s verses are charming and playful, locating sublime song within the humdrum of being human.


“Keillor is very clearly a genius. His range and stamina alone are incredible . . . he has the genuine wisdom of a Cosby or Mark Twain.” —Slate

“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

“Keillor has a way of reconciling seeming contradictions. A purveyor of all things folksy and down-home, he is a highly cultivated, worldly man.” —AARP



Where the temp gets down to thirty below

And it’s perfectly flat, miles of snow,

And you ask why I live in this desolate spot.

Because you do not.

You in loud clothes

With very big hair

And very big pickups

And not much upstairs,

Who whoop in church

And handle snakes

To prove their faith

For goodness sakes.

They slur their speech

Down in the South

As if they had cotton balls

Stuffed in their mouth.

The men hunt gators

Out in the marsh,

While the women stay home

And hang up the warsh

And tend to the babies,

And fix gator stew.

Now what if these people

Lived next door to you?

And the only thing

That keeps them away

Is the fact it will hit

Minus thirty today?

Winter’s a challenge

But it can be faced

When you’re among people

With brains and good taste.


Billy the Kid

Didn’t do half of what they said he did

He rustled cattle, I guess that’s true,

But nobody knew who they belonged to.

He killed some men, maybe two or three,

But he was always real nice to me.

Billy the Kid went on the run

Down to Mesilla in 1881.

Sheriff Pat Garrett put on the heat

And came to the ranch of Billy’s friend Pete.

But it wasn’t Billy who was shot by Pat,

It was someone wearing his pants and hat,

Billy the Kid was miles away

In Santa Fe with flowers in his hair

And I know cause I was there.

He made a fortune in fermented juices

And built a mansion in Las Cruces,

Changed his name to William Bonney

Wrote “Way Down Upon The Swanee”

And he may have been guilty to a degree

But he was always real good to me

And generous to my family.

Always sent us a Christmas turkey

From Albuquerque

And a box of chocolate candy

From down on the Rio Grande.

They called him a killer and I guess he could be

But he was always good to me.