Poems of Sidney Lanier

Poems of Sidney Lanier

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Poems of Sidney Lanier

Poems of Sidney Lanier

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Synopsis

The poems of Sidney Lanier continue to find an admiring audience more than a century after his death. Though his poetry evokes both the landscape and the romantic spirit of the Old South, his concerns for the natural world, spirituality, and the character of society offer universal appeal. This anthology includes Lanier's best-known and most celebrated works--"Sunrise," "The Song of the Chattahoochee," "A Song of Love," and "The Marshes of Glynn." These and the other poems presented in the collection reveal Lanier's interest in the welfare and preservation of nature and society and his opposition to southern industrialization. The memorial by William Hayes Ward and the afterword by John Hollander illumine Lanier's ideas for a new generation, offering glimpses into Lanier's life and introducing us to the soldier, lawyer, teacher, lecturer, talented musician, and amazingly gifted writer who captured the South's landscape and character through unforgettable poetry.

Excerpt

In my sleep I was fain of their fellowship, fain
Of the live-oak, the marsh, and the main.
The little green leaves would not let me alone in my sleep;
Up-breathed from the marshes, a message of range and of sweep,
Interwoven with waftures of wild sea-liberties, drifting,
Came through the lapped leaves sifting, sifting,
Came to the gates of sleep.
Then my thoughts, in the dark of the dungeon-keep
Of the Castle of Captives hid in the City of Sleep,
Upstarted, by twos and by threes assembling:
The gates of sleep fell a-trembling
Like as the lips of a lady that forth falter yes,
Shaken with happiness:
The gates of sleep stood wide.

I have waked, I have come, my beloved! I might not abide:
I have come ere the dawn, O beloved, my live-oaks, to hide
In your gospelling glooms,--to be
As a lover in heaven, the marsh my marsh and the sea my sea.

Tell me, sweet burly-bark'd, man-bodied Tree
That mine arms in the dark are embracing, dost know
From what fount are these tears at thy feet which flow?

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