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Now, as you well know, I like to post about people who have either been forgotten or never known; except, possibly, in an old census report.

I prefer to allow them to speak for themselves; if they can.

But now I must bow to one who is fairly well known; or he was at one time.

His name is Paul Hamilton Hayne. Paul is a poet. Well at least in my mind he is. Others have called him an editor, a critic, and a supporter of the arts.

Paul was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1830.

Due to the death of his father Paul lived with his mother and a rich uncle. He attended college and worked as a lawyer until he discovered it was not his calling.

He loved to write poetry.

Union forces destroyed his home and library during the Civil War. He moved his family to Augusta, Georgia, where he became a news editor. Paul Hamilton Hayne was never the beneficiary of good health. His health impeded his career ambitions thereby forcing his resignation as a news editor. Hayne moved his family in 1866 to Grovetown, Georgia, roughly fifteen miles from Augusta. He remained there until his death.

Despite his health and financial difficulties Hayne continued an eager literary life. His poetry and essays appeared in such magazines as Scribner’s Monthly, the Independent, Southern Opinion and The Atlantic Monthly. He continued sharing his skills as an editor and literary critic with several Southern newspapers.

And therefore we embark on a journey through Paul Hamilton Hayne’s mind via his poetry. I present the following posts as small snippets of his poetry and the accompanying artwork found in;


I must make you aware that Hayne has written poems from eight liners to sonnets to sagas. His mind holds more words than a dictionary; and he does not use them lightly. He knows exactly of each word he speaks and precisely what word to use.

Now that we have left John Bessac and Henry Birdsall let us move on within the mind of Paul Hamilton Hayne. I allow his poetry to define him.

Therefor I will commit the unnatural task of keeping my opinions to myself.

I warn you that what appears in each post will rarely be a complete poem.

So I will do my best to identify its nearest page. That way you may read the complete poem which sometimes covers several pages.

Join me over the next few weeks as we delve in Hayne’s work.