Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Southern Voices


Southern Voices: Poems by William H. Holcombe, M. D. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1872. 

We hail this volume as a beautiful presage of the future of the South in the department of poetry In saying that it is worthy of the author, who, for several years past, has been a brilliant star in the literary firmament of the South, we give it the highest praise. Dr. Holcombe, in a succession of psychological works, connecting in golden links the noblest and most attractive features of two worlds, has carried English prose style to a high degree of perfection.

His mind is at once logical and creative; but, like all fine writers who have preceded him, he has evidently conned models upon models, and passed through stages of laborious training. All well-balanced minds familiarize themselves with the attainments of the past before they strike out new paths for themselves. In pursuing this course, Dr. Holcombe has only accommodated himself to those inevitable laws of mental and moral progress, the observance of which is sure to secure for the philosopher, the scholar, and the poet, the highest practicable triumphs.

Half a century ago the Englishman, with a curl of contempt upon his lips, and the shred of a laurel on his brow, asked, with an air of triumph that brooked no response, “Who reads an American book?”

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