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
THE FAILING STUDENT
In the old stories it’s always worth the trouble
but this time you doubt it.
For months she’s hidden herself
at the brambled rim of that steep hill
bleating for help as the wind
sings its increasingly wicked song.
Winter is coming. It means business.
You think of yourself as the field
she’s absent from, as the shepherd who must
find her. You began to understand
how mercy can start as little more
than a direction you can move in,
how your heart hates death.
You begin picking your way toward her
through a whole vocabulary
of wild flowers and thorns.