Poetry Sunday: September by Helen Hunt Jackson

American poet Helen Hunt Jackson was a contemporary of Emily Dickinson. She never quite achieved the same fame as Dickinson, but she wrote some lovely and evocative poems. This is one of them. 

Judging by the last line of the poem, this month was special to the poet. I particularly like the line "September days are here, with summer's best of weather, and autumn's best of cheer."  Is there a better description of the year's ninth month? If so, I haven't heard or read it.


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 brook-side
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.
But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.


  1. This is such a beautiful poem. Captures this time of year perfectly!

    1. I'm really fond of Jackson's poetry. It always seems to say just what I would like to say if I were a poet.

  2. I love this poem! It captures September perfectly. I've never read any of Jackson's poetry; I know her mostly for her novel, Ramona, which my mother loved.

  3. This has the exact feel of fall where I live in New York State!

    1. I suspect she had such a place in mind when she wrote it.

  4. A lovely work. It suits southern Ontario pretty well. Something is amiss in the world of blogger, Dorothy (again? still?). This post didn't come in to my feed and I had to click onto your blog to see it.

    1. Something is definitely wrong. The whole system has moved like cold molasses the last couple of days. Anyway, thank you for taking the trouble to get here!

  5. A lovely poem, but it's one that is completely outside my experience. September, in my life, is simply another month of summer.

    1. I do remember the kind of September she describes, but here that is more likely to be October, if at all.

  6. This is the worst poem

    1. Well, don't hold back! Tell how you really feel!

    2. Thanks but I still hate this

  7. Alright thanks for telling me that

  8. Not really a huge fan of poems, but this is amazing!


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