Coleman in Canadian Poets, 1916.
Helena Jane Coleman|
April 27, 1860
|Died||December 7, 1953|
|Pen name||various (see article)|
|Alma mater||Ontario Ladies College|
|Notable work(s)||Songs and Sonnets|
|Relative(s)||A.P. Coleman, brother|
Coleman was born and raised in Newcastle, Ontario, the daughter of Emmeline Maria (Adams) (the sister of education reformer Mary Electa Adams) and Rev. Francis Coleman, a Methodist clergyman. Her brother, A.P. Coleman, was a well-known geologist.
She was educated at the Ontario Ladies' College in Whitby, Ontario.  She graduated with a Gold Medal in Music. She became a teacher in the College's Music Department, and (except for a one-year leave of absence to pursue post-graduate work in Germany) served as Department Head from 1880 to 1892.
Coleman wrote poetry for years, publishing in The Atlantic Monthly and other magazines; however, as she used pseudonyms, only a few intimate friends knew. Pseudonyms she is known to use include: Caleb Black, Catherine G. Brown, H.C., Helen Gray Cone, H.S.C., Hollis Cattwin, L.D. Clark, Winifred Cotter, Winnifred Cotter, A.T. Cottingham, Winnifred Ford, C.H., Mrs. R.H. Hudson, Hollis Hume, Shadwell Jones, Annie Lloyd, M.D. Merrivale, Helen Saxon, Helen A. Saxon, Emily A. Sykes, and Gwendolen Woodworth.
In 1906 her first collection of poetry, Songs and Sonnets, was published by the Tennyson Club of Toronto. It was well received by the critics, and a second printing soon followed.
Coleman contributed poems to a large number of Canadian and American journals. She was a member of the Authors Society, the Canadian Authors Association, the Rose Society, and the University Women's Club in Toronto.
Songs, a selection from her earlier works, was published in 1937.
Reviewing Coleman's first book, Songs and Sonnets, in the Canadian Magazine, W.T. Allison wrote: "Her command of rhythm is very pleasing, and because of her love of Latinized English, reaches a certain degree of opulence which cannot fail to give any lover of cadence great delight. Yet in spite of her love for colour and sonority our new poet is at all times eminently clear." He added: "Miss Coleman has much in common with Matthew Arnold. Just as he did, she knows how to combine concreteness of colour, with a certain noble simplicity and restraint of style, and like Arnold, she likes best of all to devote her thought to the deep things of the soul.... She knows life in its sadness, gladness and beauty, and sings of it in relation to Nature and to God."
While her second book, Marching Men, was widely celebrated for its patriotic sentiments, The Rebel Magazine at the University of Toronto praised it for going beyond simple patriotism, calling the book the sort of "true poetry [that] begins to issue forth" in a crisis "like the blood of the grapes, crushed in the winepress of affliction."
- Songs and Sonnets (published under the auspices of the Tennyson Society of Toronto). Toronto: William Briggs, 1906.
- Marching Men: War verses. London & Toronto: J.M. Dent, 1917.
- Songs: Being a selection of earlier sonnets and lyrics. Toronto: Ryerson, 1937.
- Sheila and Others: The simple annals of an unromantic household (as "Winifred Cotter."). Toronto: E.P. Dutton, 1920.
- ↑ Coleman, Helena Jane. Canada's Early Women Writers, Simon Fraser University. Web, Nov. 11, 2013.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Selected Poetry of Helena Jane Coleman: Biographical information," Representative Poetry Online, Web, June 12, 2011.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 John W. Garvin, "Helena Coleman," Canadian Poets (Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, 1916), 206, Celebration of Woman Writers, UPenn.edu, Web, June 12, 2011.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Helena Coleman (1860-1953): Biographical Sketch," Victoria University Library, UToronto.ca, Web, June 12, 2011.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Helena Coleman," Canadian Poetry from World War I (Toronto: Oxford, 2009), 44-45. Print.
- ↑ Helena Coleman, Songs: Being a Selection of Earlier Sonnets and Lyrics (Toronto: Ryerson, 1937), Web, June 12, 2011.
- ↑ Search results = au:Helena Coleman, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Nov. 11, 2013.
- "Pro Patria Mortui"
- Selected Poetry of Helena Jane Coleman (1860-1953)- 4 poems ("In October," "Marching Men," "Night among the Thousand Islands," "The Recruit") at Representative Poetry Online
- Helena Coleman in Canadian Poets - Biography & 6 poems ("More Lovely Grows the Earth," "To a Bluebell," "Indian Summer," Prairie Winds," "Enlargement, "Day and Night," "Beyond the Violet Rays," "As Day Begins to Wane")
- Helena Coleman (1860-1953) at Sonnet Central (8 sonnets)
- Coleman, Helena Jane at Canada's Early Women Writers
- "'You Woman-Hearted, Poet-Brained Wonder Worker!': The Poetic Dialogue of Love between Ethelwyn Wetherald and Helena Coleman, Canadian Poetry.
- Helena Coleman Fonds, E.J. Pratt Library, Victoria University.
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