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 is an
Emeritus Professor at The University of Delaware, where she taught
for 40 years and headed the Creative Writing Concentration. Jeanne
currently serves as a poetry Mentor in The Seattle Pacific Low
Residency MFA Program. From her home outside Philadelphia
she blogs about the troubling politics of our time, reading and writing,
and the surprising power of stillness. She travels widely to speak
and read her poems 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
SPARROWS AT ZERO
When snow covers the azaleas
with its hoary wisdom,
and our terra cotta pots
wear white hats of surrender,
and sparrows puff up
dreadfully in the cedar
against the cold, I pull on
my dead father’s hunting jacket
and step from the room of language
with its beautiful, treacherous
human motives into silence
cold enough to kill me,
frostbite so quick it whittles all
to a fierce will to live.
Standing here in the frozen chamber
of a sparrow’s mind, I can hear
someone in the room of language:
May these sunflower seeds
ignite the sun in them.
May these sparrows be like lanterns
that light their own way home.