Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1003a George William Bagby >> Page 213

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Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription NOVEMBER 1860 213 1003a : To GEORGE WILLIAM BAGBY'
Woodlands, Midway P. O. S. C. Nov. 9. 1860. Dr. G. W. Bagby.
My dear Sir:
By the same mail which will bring you this letter, I forward a goodly package of proof sheets, segregated from a volume of my poems now in press. The volume will be large & uniform with the two volumes already issued by Redfield. It will contain all my hitherto uncollected fugitives, the productions of occasional moments during a period of thirty years. It will exhibit (no matter what the degree of merit) a sufficient & singular variety. I have endeavoured in the sheets sent you (with the consent of my publisher) to afford you an opportunity of estimating this variety. You will find song & sonnet; ballad and stanza; epigram & moral. You are at liberty to use these as you think proper; to detach & publish such as you prefer. They may afford you the subject of an article, and I confess I desire that they should.' The relations of the South with the North, are, in literary respects, as degrading as in political and commercial. We can never get justice or fair play in either province. Poetry, I hold to be my proper province; but I am not ambitious of writing the tinselly stuff which at this day, & in this country, is too commonly recieved as poetry; where a mere fancy is held to be a thought, & where a conceit passes for a beauty, if not an inspiration. Poetry, I hold to be winged thought. It must be fresh thought, winged by the Imagination, & coloured by the Fancy. The

1003a -
'Bagby (1828-1883), a native of Virginia, received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1849. His success as a writer of articles for the Lynchburg Virginian caused him to abandon the idea of practicing medicine. He was in the 1850s co-owner of the Lynchburg Express and a newspaper correspondent in Washington, D.C. In June 1860 he succeeded John Reuben Thompson as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. He was briefly in the Confederate Army, but was discharged because of ill health and returned to his editorship of the Messenger, which he kept until Jan. 1864. He was the author of several pamphlets and books and was well known throughout Virginia as a lecturer.
2"Oh, the Sweet South!" published in Simms's Poems Areytos, pp. 9-10, was reprinted in the Messenger, XXXII (Jan. 1861), 5. Bagby did not write an "article" on Simms, but his volume was reviewed in the number for Feb. 1861. See note 2, Dec. 17, 1860 (1027a).