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About this poet

Helen Hunt Jackson was born in Amherst, Massachussetts, in 1830. She published five collections of poetry during her lifetime and was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985. She died in 1885.

Poppies on the Wheat

Helen Hunt Jackson

Along Ancona's hills the shimmering heat,
A tropic tide of air with ebb and flow
Bathes all the fields of wheat until they glow
Like flashing seas of green, which toss and beat
Around the vines. The poppies lithe and fleet
Seem running, fiery torchmen, to and fro
To mark the shore.

                        The farmer does not know
That they are there. He walks with heavy feet,
Counting the bread and wine by autumn's gain,
But I,—I smile to think that days remain
Perhaps to me in which, though bread be sweet
No more, and red wine warm my blood in vain,
I shall be glad remembering how the fleet,
Lithe poppies ran like torchmen with the wheat.

This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on June 29, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.  This poem is in the public domain.

This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on June 29, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.  This poem is in the public domain.

Helen Hunt Jackson

Helen Hunt Jackson was born in Amherst, Massachussetts, in 1830. She published five collections of poetry during her lifetime and was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985. She died in 1885.

by this poet

poem

This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer’s voice come bearing summer’s gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,

poem
O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire, 
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn 
Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn 
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire 
The streams than under ice. June could not hire 
Her roses to forego the strength they learn 
In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can
poem
Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year's heart all weary grew,
But said: "The New Year rest has brought."
The Old Year's hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but, trusting, said:
"The blossoms of the New Year's crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead."
The Old Year's