Helen Hunt Jackson Poems

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Helen Hunt Jackson
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (October 18, 1830 - August 12, 1885) was an American writer best known as the author of Ramona, a novel about the ill treatment of Native Americans in southern California. She was born Helen Maria Fiske in Amherst, Massachusetts, a daughter of Nathan Welby Fiske and Deborah Waterman Vinal. She had two brothers, both of whom died after birth, and a sister named Anne. Her father was a minister, author, and professor of Latin, Greek, and philosophy at Amherst College. Her mother died in 1844, and her father died three years later in 1847, leaving her to the care of an aunt. Before her father's death, however, he saw to it that she had a good education. She attended 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. The two carried on a correspondence for all of their lives, but few of their letters have survived. In 1852, Helen Fiske married United States Army Captain Edward Bissell Hunt, who died in a military accident in 1863. Her son Murray Hunt died in 1854 of a brain disease; her other son, Rennie Hunt, died of diphtheria in 1865. She began writing after these deaths. She travelled a great deal. In the winter of 1873-1874 she was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in search of a cure for tuberculosis. There she met William Sharpless Jackson, a wealthy banker and railroad executive. They married in 1875. She died of cancer in 1885. Scholars know her as Helen Hunt Jackson, but she never used that name herself—she only used one married name at a time: Helen Hunt or Helen Jackson.

They bade me cast the thing away,
They pointed to my hands all bleeding,
They listened not... [read poem]
the great grey plain
Out West, where the stars are brightest,
Where the scorching north wind blows,
And the bon... [read poem]
past carin’
Now up and down the siding brown
The great black crows are flyin’,
And down below the ... [read poem]
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