Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 2) >> 10th Simms Symposium Prize Poem >> Page 39

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Poetry | 2008
Transcription The Simms Symposium Prize Poem


Matt Minor, Eagle Lake,Texas

{The following poem was the winner of the poetry contest at the
Symposium. In the absence of Mr Minor, it was read at the banquet
Friday evening by fellow poet Dr Matt Brennan. Mr and Mrs Minor, who
had just arrived in Athens the day before the Symposium, had to return
to Texas for the emergency of Hurricane Ike, in whose path their home
lay. Our thoughts are with them in the cleanup. We have heard from
them, and they are themselves safe. Society members regret not being able
to meet them and having the fellowship of the Symposium.}

Southron Sage for William Gilmore Simms

Like the tree felled to publish the poem
That sings of its majesty eternal,
So your heart was Cauldron born, thus joined
Those that distill life from a kernel.

it's true that the empty numeral claimed your age
And that hemlock stained your lie searing lip.
And though a condemned shadow the
Southern sage
From your mossy bark never could you slip.

To strain from the earth, no better place:
Your inherited crow's feet were furrows
That channeled the tears of your run-down race;
Those forbidden to build... denied a tomorrow,

If your age ended as a cage and little else,
Better you were a prisoner of place than of self.