September by Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden rod 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 dusty pods the milkweed
  Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest,
  In every meadow nook;
And asters by the broadside
  Make asters in the brook.
By all these lovely tokens
  September days are here,
With summer's best of wealth
  And autumn's best of cheer.

–Helen Hunt Jackson 1830-1885








Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, Helen Hunt Jackson and another Amherst poet of the same age, Emily Dickinson, were friends. Helen Hunt Jackson’s passion and contribution to society came in political advocacy. She called out the government for its systematic neglect and mistreatment of American Indians. For that she will be remembered and honored.

Reading the pleasant but unexceptional verse above, one understands Dickinson’s appraisal of her friend’s poetic gifts: “She has the facts but not the phosphorescence.”











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