Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Simms's Romantic Vision as Shown in His Critical Writings >> Page 84

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Secondary Scholarship | 2009
Transcription 84 THE SIMMS REVIEW

1. Compare to Edgar Allan Poe's enthusiastic praise of "Child of the Sea" first
published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1848 (Poe 242-49).
2. Further commentaries on Southey's works appear in the Southern Quarterly
Review of October 1849 (268), April 1850 (237), and April 1851 (553). In Poetry
and the Practical, Simms admires Southey's impressive industriousness and
omnivorous literary taste (94).
3. See "Article X" of the Southern Quarterly Review of July, 1849 for a lengthy
assessment of Taylor's Artevelde. Simms concludes that Taylor combines all the
traits of the earlier poets—Byron's passion, Shelley's spiritualism, Scott's action,
Wordsworth's contemplativeness, and so on—in his poetry. However, the truly
original is absent in Taylor's verses.
4. Compare, for example, his review of Bryant's translation of Homer where
Simms praises Bryant's use of direct, comprehensive, and condensed language
and disparages earlier translators such as Tennyson and Cowper for their stiffness
or vague style ("Our Book Table" 2). Elsewhere he states: "Directness of aim
and concentration of Thought do not necessarily imply the literal, and these, with
Imagination and Fancy, as a decorative quality, are the whole source of power in
poetry, & so of permanent reputation. Poetry is winged thought. Such, we find
in Homer, Aeschylus, Milton, Dante, Shakspeare [sic], & other great masters of
the Past" (Letters 4:616). Simms echoes Coleridge in defining poetry as "winged
5. For a more detailed account of Simms's prescient aversion toward what would
be called "modernity," see Kibler's "Simms's Prophetic Muse."

Works Cited
Guilds, John Caldwell. Simms: A Literary Life. Fayetteville: U of Arkansas P,
Kibler, James Everett, Jr. "Introduction." Selected Poems of William Gilmore
Simms. By William Gilmore Simms. Ed. James Everett Kibler Jr.
Athens: U of Georgia P, 1990. xi-xxii.
--------. "Simms's Prophetic Muse." Mississippi Quarterly 49.1 (1995-96):
--------. "William Gilmore Simms." Antebellum Writers in the South. 2nd ser.
Ed. Kent Ljungquist. Dictionary of Literary Biography 248. Detroit:
Gale Group, 2001. 329-51.
Parks, Edd Winfield. William Gilmore Simms as Literary Critic. Athens: U of
Georgia P, 1961.