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Havilah Babcock:The Poet Laureate of the Partridge

STORY BY Jim Casada
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FPG

Havilah Babcock:The Poet Laureate of the Partridge

STORY BY Jim Casada
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FPG

Havilah Babcock:The Poet Laureate of the Partridge

STORY BY Jim Casada
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FPG
‘‘

Havilah Babcock, a beloved English professor at the University of South Carolina, has often been described as the unofficial poet laureate of the bobwhite quail. “Call him Bob White, quail, bird or whatever you will in the rest of the country,” he wrote, “but to elder sportsmen of the South, this saucy little patrician is still partridge. It is lese majeste to call him anything else.” Matters of terminology aside, anyone who samples and savors Babcock’s writings will be enchanted. Strangely enough, the origin of his grand tales came from chronic insomnia, and he turned pen to paper during morning’s wee hours in a fruitless search for an antidote. He may have suffered mightily, but posterity can feel blessed that sleeplessness left us a bounty of immensely enjoyable and insightful tales devoted to the bird he fondly described as “five ounces of feathered dynamite.” As might be expected of someone who served as the head of a university English department for decades, Babcock was a master of words…

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Havilah Babcock:The Poet Laureate of the Partridge

Havilah Babcock, a beloved English professor at the University of South Carolina, has often been described as the unofficial poet laureate of the bobwhite quail. “Call him Bob White, quail, bird or whatever you will in the rest of the country,” he wrote, “but to elder sportsmen of the South, this saucy little patrician is still partridge. It is lese majeste to call him anything else.” Matters of terminology aside, anyone who samples and savors Babcock’s writings will be enchanted. Strangely enough, the origin of his grand tales came from chronic insomnia, and he turned pen to paper during morning’s wee hours in a fruitless search for an antidote. He may have suffered mightily, but posterity can feel blessed that sleeplessness left us a bounty of immensely enjoyable and insightful tales devoted to the bird he fondly described as “five ounces of feathered dynamite.” As might be expected of someone who served as the head of a university English department for decades, Babcock was a master of words…

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