This collection of Southern Poets and Poems, 1606–1860 is made not from the viewpoint of a literary critic but that of a student of history interested in how the experiences of the Southern people have been reflected in verse. Poetry contains a kind of truth not found in other forms of expression.
We are guided by the advice of William Gilmore Simms, the father of Southern literature:
“The emotional literature of a people is as necessary to the philosophical historian as the mere details of events in the progress of a nation. This is essential to the reputation of the Southern people, as illustrating their feelings, sentiments, ideas and opinions — the motives which influenced their actions, and the objects which they had in contemplation, and which seemed to them to justify the struggle in which they were engaged.”
This is the first in a planned five-volume series that will trace with verse the four hundred year history of the people of the South and The Land They Loved.