Jeanne Murray Walker is the award-winning author of 8
volumes of poetry and one memoir as well as a number of
plays which have been performed in theaters across
the country and in London. She serves as a poetry mentor
in The Seattle Pacific MFA Program. From her home
outside Philadelphia she blogs about her own journey toward
stillness, the troubling politics of our time, fake news,
reading and writing, the weirdness of giving a graduation
speech that isn’t hackneyed —and other concerns and
surprises along the way. She travels widely to speak and
read in places ranging from The Library of Congress to
Romania, from Italy to Texas Canyon Country. You can
find her papers and letters archived at Wheaton College’s
Buswell Library and at The University of Delaware’s Morris
Library. Jeanne has appeared on PBS television and is
frequently interviewed on the radio.

A Note from Jeanne

I’m delighted you’ve stopped by. Please linger a while to browse. Read some poems. Check out my blog and speaking schedule.  If you’re near an event where I’ll be speaking, feel free to attend. If you’d like to read my blog click here.  We can join forces to work for a more thoughtful world.

Jeanne Murray Walker


–After W. B. Yeats

While you were still unborn
our friends brought, one by one,
the clothes their children had worn:
shirts with secret pockets,
blankets, a tie gown.

And because we were unable
to find you anywhere
we pulled you from the pockets,
we stitched a fable
of a baby yet unborn.

When you finally came
we dressed you in those clothes.
All winter they were kind.
Now I fold the clothes away,
a legacy refined.
Someone else’s child
may briefly take his turn.

For parents, now, who wait,
imagining new faces,
I will enumerate
the children whose graces
became your warmest jacket:

Elizabeth and Melissa,
Patrick, Andrew, Kate
wore these clothes once.
Teddy, Bess, and Ethan.
And may their loveliness
wherever these clothes are worn
shield against loss
and pass to those unborn.