Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 2) >> Monody, on the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney >> Page 11

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Page 11

Poetry | 1825
Transcription {The curious publication history of Simms's first book,
was explored in an important paper written by James B.
Meriwether and given by his son Nicholas 12 September 2008
at the 10th Simms Symposium, and will be published in the
proceedings of the Conference in 2009 as a special issue of
The Simms Review. The following photo reproduction of
Monody itself has a curious history worthy of being put on
record. Prof. Rayburn Moore inherited the office of Dr Edd
Winfield Parks at the University of Georgia. Some, years
ago, when Dr Moore was office cleaning, he gave me, his
junior colleague hard at work on The Selected Poems of
Simms, a tall stack of now very faded xeroxes made for Dr
Parks some fifty years ago. Most were of Simms's books of
poetry. Because I already had copies, I dispersed these to
various students interested in Simms. I kept one however
because I had no copy of it. This was Monody. Later, I
learned that only one intact copy of the volume now exists,
because the copy at Harvard was lost in an interlibrary loan
"many years ago." Whether the Parks copy is from the lost
copy or not, research may one day reveal. I had machines at
FedEx Kinkos enhance the following copy for this issue of
The Review. Hopefully, a clean typeset copy will be made for
the special issue. A facsimile of the rare volume, made from
the Parks copy was exhibited at the Symposium's "Simms the
Poet" display at the T. R. Cobb House in Athens. This was
the first exhibition exclusively comprised of Simms's poetry,
and an historic occasion in and of itself. The exhibit
containing Monody filled a room, with three very large cases,
and made use of several table tops as well. It contained book
purloined from Simms's library by US troops during 1865, a
manuscript poem, several presentation copies of poem
volumes signed by Simms, and a new letter by Simms. The
only uncut and unrebound copy of Simms's poem, The City of
the Silent was also on display. The sketch of Feb. 1852 from
which the famous "Woodlands" engraving of 1853 was made,
was here exhibited for the ,first time. The exhibit was
mounted from the collection of Dr Kibler.}