The Treacherous Month : November, by Helen Hunt Jackson

A week into November, and I realise we haven’t yet heard from Helen Hunt Jackson.  No, she’s not on strike.  An extreme example of the Pathetic Fallacy in action, this one, and, I feel, one of her stronger efforts.



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,
The violet returns. Snow noiseless sifts
Ere night, an icy shroud, which morning’s rays
Will idly shine upon and slowly melt,
Too late to bid the violet live again.
The treachery, at last, too late, is plain;
Bare are the places where the sweet flowers dwelt.
What joy sufficient hath November felt?
What profit from the violet’s day of pain?


I was about to say that there were no signs of Spring flowers yet in my garden, but then a closer look revealed the tips of the first daffodils (trust me – that is what they are).

First daffodils of Spring 2011


*Roughly what we would call Michaelmas Daisies, I think.

2 thoughts on “The Treacherous Month : November, by Helen Hunt Jackson

    • Well, yes it is. It does seem a bt early to me, but then that might be just be because I don’t normally go looking for shoots.

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