Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> The Significance of Simms's First Long Poem >> Page 21

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Secondary Scholarship | 2009
Transcription 21 THE SIMMS REVIEW

Nevertheless, it is not difficult to say something in praise of this
little poem of 1825. That Simms began his career here, by apprenticing
himself to masters of the language who were dedicated to firm technical
control, was a highly important step in the making of all facets of his
career as poet, short story writer, novelist, historian, critic, and essayist.
The discipline of verse is perhaps the best teacher of all. Despite demands
and pressures to be prolific, Simms never became a hack. And despite
his own exuberant genius and prodigious creative energy in a time that
put a premium on freedom and untrammeled flights of the imagination,
Simms was sufficiently impelled toward restraint, discipline, and techni-
cal mastery to keep those energies within the bounds that make art pos-
sible. Although Monody may be otherwise uncelebrated, this essentially
neoclassical poem is witness to its author's strong commitment to disci-
plined artistry, right from the start of what was to be a long and remark-
ably fruitful career.

Works Cited
[Anon.] Rev. of Monody, on the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.
The Courier [Charleston] 14 September 1825: 2.
Garden, Alexander. Eulogy on Gen. Chs. Cotesworth Pinckney. Charleston: A.
E. Miller, 1825.
. Anecdotes of' the Revolutionary War in America. Charleston: A. E.
Miller, 1822.
Kibler, James Everett, Jr. The Poetry of William Gilmore Simms: An Introduction
and Bibliography. Columbia: Reprint Co. for the Southern Studies
Program of the U of South Carolina, 1979.
Meriwether, Margaret B. "Notes," Folder 20, Published Lectures, "Monody
on the Death of General C. C. Pinckney," Charles Carroll Simms
Collection, South Caroliniana Library.
Salley, Alexander S. "Biographical Sketch." The letters of William Gilmore
Simms. Vol. 1. Ed. Mary C. Simms Oliphant, Alfred Taylor Odell, T. C.
Duncan Eaves. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 1952. lix-lxxxix.
Simms, William Gilmore. History of South Carolina from its First European
Discovery to its Erection into a Republic: with a Supplementary
Chronicle of Events to the Present Time. Charleston: S. E. Babcock,