A voice moves in a heart fallen asleep,
murmuring there like a thawing rivulet.
I heard your voice, fluent in the deep
sweetness of the land, compassionate;
flowing beneath our cold, intemperate
harshness, the icebound lake of our death.
Meekness, only; poverty in spirit;
and over the abandoned towns, a breath
of life... When you placed a simple wreath
of memory upon this common ground,
I heard a wholly other spring, beneath
these grasslands, waiting to be found –
a vernal undertaking. We might bear
from hibernation something we can share.
This was probably the third sonnet I'd written. I had just been reading James Wright's selected poems, sort of browsing through it. It occurred to me that his voice sounded something like an old bear, and at that moment, I opened the book to a poem about bear cubs in springtime. So I wrote this sonnet. I know it's a little ponderous... oh well, it was an early effort.