Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw
I’m adding something new this time around. It has been awhile since Helen (Hunt) Jackson made an appearance in my blog post. Since I’m reviewing her life and work for an upcoming presentation in Castle Rock, Colorado at their library, I thought I would share my thoughts on one of my favorite poems of hers.
In November 13,1873 Helen had her poem “Two Truths” published in the ‘New York Independent’. The publication came out shortly after Helen had arrived in Colorado Springs for her health.
There are many things I like about this poem. Firstly, I enjoy the dialogue that composes most of the poem. It’s like you are overhearing a private conversation. Those first lines feel like a scene in a movie. You see the errant husband coming through the door, contrite for some offense. The wife, happy to see him return, immediately absolves him of any crime. Then the meat of the piece comes in the final sentences, overhearing the wife’s private thought.
Secondly, there is a greater depth to the piece than the few short lines would indicate. Taking the ‘lovers’ out of the occasion and we see a deeper insight into human nature. There are in fact two truths in almost all human interaction. The truth we tell the world and the truth that lies beneath.
Although at first reading, Helen’s poems are beautiful and her use of language amazing. When one takes the time to go beyond the words to the meaning, there is a greater depth than most would take the time to see, but time that would be well spent.
by H.H. (Helen Hunt Jackson)
“Darling” he said, “I never meant
To hurt you;” and his eyes were wet.
“I would not hurt you for the world:
Am I to blame if I forget?”
“Forgive my selfish tears!” she cried,
“Forgive! I knew that is was not
Because you meant to hurt me, sweet-
I knew it was that you forgot!”
But all the same, deep in her heart
Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,-
“When live is at its best, one loves
So much that he cannot forget.”
I would also challenge you to write a story or similar poem from these wise words that Helen wrote so long ago. If you take this challenge, share them on the Writing Wranglers and Warriors Facebook page or send to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History
Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL
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