The James Hearst Digital Archive

Home » Poetry » Conservative


Text of Poem

The wilderness sleeps in seed and furrow,
Plow it or scorch it, it will not die,
I train my hands to profits domestic
And fence my fields with a circling eye.

Today I found thistles alive in the meadow,
Killing the clover, the homemade latch
Failed on the gate and some grunting scroungers
Rooting like pigs spoiled my garden patch.

My corn grows in rows each straight as the other
Like the text of a deacon repeated each week,
But weeds spread seeds with the strength of a forest
I hear, as I hoe them, the wilderness speak.

First Line
The wilderness sleeps in seed and furrow
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Today 21 (Jan. 1966) 13.
Complete Poems
Hearst Collections
Word Count
Poetic Form
The title of this poem is an interesting part of the poem, as it takes the poem into a political or philosophical realm that the language of the poem proper would otherwise not.