Helen Hunt Jackson was born Helen Fiske in Amherst, Massachusetts on October 15, 1830. Her father was a minister, author, and professor of Latin, Greek, and philosophy at Amherst College. Helen was well educated, attending Ipswich Female Seminary and the Abbott Institute, a boarding school run by Reverend J.S.C. Abbott in New York City. She was a classmate of the poet Emily Dickinson, also from Amherst. Her mother died in 1844, and her father died three years later in 1847, leaving her to the care of an aunt. Helen married Captain Edward Hunt in 1852. Helen turned to writing after her husband and her two sons died. In 1875 she married a banker, William Jackson, and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lived for a few years. A prolific poet and novelist, Helen Hunt Jackson is primarily remembered for her work “Ramona”, a novel about the ill treatment of Native Americans in southern California.. Her poems are very beautiful, and “September” and “October’s Bright Blue Weather” are especially good pictures of these autumn months. Hunt died of cancer in San Francisco, California on August 12, 1885.
By Helen Hunt Jackson
The goldenrod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusky pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest
In every meadow-nook;
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook.
From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
Helen Hunt Jackson’s Bits of talk, in verse and prose, for young folks
Helen Hunt Jackson : Colorado’s Literary Lady by E. E. Duncan
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Learn more about Jackson’s homeland and complete:
Where is Massachusetts? Notebook Page
Where in the US is Massachusetts? Shutterfold
Massachusetts State Symbol Tab Book
State Flower and Bird Coloring Pages
State Flower and Bird Minit Book
…all found on the USA Connections Page.
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Analyze “September” using:
For a tea time treat make:
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp served with spiced apple tea or hot cider
To expand your Tea Time into a thematic unit, check out: