Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> The Eagle Unhooded: Poetic Technique in Simms's Poetry and the Practical >> Page 34

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Secondary Scholarship | 2009
Transcription 34 THE SIMMS REVIEW

The examples quoted here demonstrate how Simms uses the tech-
niques of poetry to communicate revelations divined from close seeing
and inspired flight the eye and wing of his poetic credo. As he phrased
it himself, "the poet's eye is always open for discovery ... his wing is
forever spread in search" (45). Using Simms's own imagery, we can
phrase it this way: the poet is like the eagle whose unhooded eye flashes
to the light of truth, and whose wing lifts him to heights of inspired see-
ing. Simms's essay itself provides an example of the power of poetry in
action. As usual, Simms was practicing what he preached, and teaching
by example, the most effective way of teaching after all. In more ways
than one, Poetry and the Practical is a major document of the Romantic
movement. I can think of no close rival in American literature.

Works Cited
Berry, Wendell. Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work. Lexington: UP of Kentucky,
Chappell, Fred. Dust jacket endorsement for Simms, Poetry and the Practical.
Simms, William Gilmore. Poetry and the Practical. Ed. James Everett Kibler Jr.
Fayetteville: U of Arkansas P, 1996.