Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> War Poetry of the South: Notes Towards a Reconsideration >> Page 52

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Page 52

Secondary Scholarship | 2009
Transcription 52 THE SIMMS REVIEW

Simms intended to preserve Southerners' poetry so that future
generations could more fully understand the sentiment and opinion
which sustained them "through a war unexampled in its horrors in mod-
ern times, and which has fully tested their powers of endurance" (viii).
He could well have been describing his own ordeal in the War, tribula-
tions that underscore his achievement with this volume especially. Given
Simms's personal conviction that poetry was his forte and his primary
literary form, War Poetry offers much for our understanding of its editor
and one of its primary contributors, especially in his last years. Simms
scholars should accept his challenge and look anew at this volume.

1. Simms's wartime journalism has been explored most recently by Jefferey
Rogers in "`Art Ready for Battle'." His early serial account of the burning of the
Columbia is reprinted in Simms, A City Laid Waste; for assessments of that serial
account and its subsequent publication as a book, see Nicholas Meriwether's "`A
Scene which Beggars Art to Convey"' and his "Simms's Civil War."

Works Cited
Anon. Rev. of War Poetry of the South. The New Englander 26.2 (1867): 382-
Aiken, David. "Simms's War Poetry: A Battle Cry of Freedom." Simms Review
2.2 (1994): 11-17.
Busick, Sean. A Sober Desire for History: William Gilmore Simms as Historian.
Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2005.
Kibler, James Everett, Jr. The Poetry of William Gilmore Simms: An Introduction
and Bibliography. Spartanburg, SC: Reprint Co., 1979.
Meriwether, James B. "Some Current Scholarly Desiderata in the Simms Field."
Simms Review 4.2 (1996): 35.
---------. "War Poetry, 1866." Simms Review 3.1 (1995): 32.
Meriwether, Nicholas. "`A Scene Which Beggars Art to Convey': Simms and
the Writing of Sack and Destruction of Columbia, S.C." Simms Review
12.1 (2004): 25-37.
---------. "Simms's Civil War: History, Healing, and the Sack and Destruction of
Columbia, S.C." Studies in the Literary Imagination 42.1 (2009): 49-