Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Poetry and the Practical >> Front Matter >> Acknowledgments

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Speech | The University of Arkansas Press | 1996
To Simms's granddaughter, the late Mrs. Mary C. Simms
Oliphant, I owe my initial interest in Poetry and the Practical.
It was "Miss May" who often repeated to me that her grand-
father always considered himself to be first and foremost a
poet, and that in times after, it would be through this medium
that he would be remembered. His poetry also held a very
special place for Miss May, and she was certain that Simms
was correct in his assessment. So it has been this assurance
on both their parts that has provided abiding reinforcement
to my own belief in the worth of Simms's poetry and his
contributions to the genreā€”in defense of it, in setting forth
a theory of it, in practicing it with becoming dignity and
seriousness, and in the example of his devotion and high
regard for the craft.
To Simms's great-granddaughter, Mrs. Alester G.
Furman, a true lady of Carolina like her mother before her,
I express gratitude for permission to publish the manuscript
of Poetry and the Practical, and for her support while I and
other Simms scholars pursue our work.
To Professor John Guilds, dean of Simms studies, I
express thanks for good gentlemanly companionship and