Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Front Matter >> Introduction

image of pageExplore Inside


Scholarship | 2009
Transcription 4 THE SIMMS REVIEW

been published until now. A founding member of The Simms Society,
Meriwether died before this essay could be published, and its appearance
here serves as a memorial to his life-long appreciation for and work on
One point established by Meriwether's essay is Simms's debt
to neoclassicism, the topic of Matthew Brennan's article. A poet as well
as a scholar, Brennan brings to his discussion of Simms's influences an
appreciation of the range of poetic forms Simms mastered, highlighting
the degree to which neoclassicism informed his poetic oeuvre over his
entire career. One poetic form that Simms returned to over the years was
the children's rhyme, the subject of David Newton's contribution. A proj-
ect that he worked on intermittently for decades, Simms's Grandfather
Gander poems offer scholars new insights into Simms's poetics as well as
deepening our appreciation of the critical philosophy that informed it.
That critical philosophy is the subject of two essays here. Carl
Rapp provides a new reading of Simms's Poetry and the Practical,
explaining its significance in the light of the philosophy of Kant and
Schiller, connections that highlight the innovative aspects of Simms's
view of art and artists. Doreen Thierauf provides a broader reading of
Simms's critical aesthetic as expressed through his reviews, noting the
consistency of the underlying principles that made Simms so formi-
dable and effective a critic. Longtime Review editor James E. Kibler,
Jr. also addresses Poetry and the Practical, providing an overview of
its arguments as well as its significance in the light of Simms's thought
and poetic practice. Simms scholars are indebted to Dr. Kibler for his
achievement in editing and introducing Poetry and the Practical, a
seminal series of lectures that remained in manuscript form until its pub-
lication in 1996. That publication made possible Corey Don Mingura's
thoughtful reading of Simms's critique of capitalism in two poems, "The
Western Emigrants" and "Sonnet—The Age of Gold."
In addition to his skills as a practitioner and critic of poetry,
Simms was also a gifted editor and anthologist. Sean R. Busick addresses
Simms's War Poetry of the South, calling for a reexamination of this
neglected anthology, a work that offers much to our understanding of
Simms's postwar efforts to rebuild his career and his state. Simms's
sharp-eyed, level-headed assessment of what was necessary then was
matched by his analysis of the country's direction before the War, which
Kevin Collins explores in his article. Simms's prescience in foreshadow-