An Unexpected Victorian Kinship

Image of Helen Hunt Jackson: Academy of American Poets

One of the greatest joys that comes from reading poetry is the ability of a poet, someone I’ve never met, someone who knows nothing of me, to use language to articulate my own experience in just the way I’d always yearned for–but without knowing it. There’s a jolt of recognition, then an instant feeling of kinship and gratitude. The poem I’m sharing with you today, “August,” by Helen Hunt Jackson, is just such a poem. Ironically, when it came into my inbox from the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, I almost stopped reading after the second line because the language was a little too Victorian for my taste.

“August” is in the public domain. For more information about Helen Hunt Jackson and her work, go to


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