Sidney Lanier (1842-1881) was an American musician and poet. He attended Oglethorpe University near Milledgeville, Georgia, graduating first in his class shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War. Shortly after the war, he taught school briefly, and then moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where he worked as a desk clerk at The Exchange Hotel and also performed as a musician; he was the regular organist at The First Presbyterian Church in nearby Prattville. He wrote his only novel, Tiger Lilies (1867) while in Alabama. His most famous poems were Corn (1875), The Symphony (1875), Centennial Meditation (1876), The Song of the Chattahoochee (1877), The Marshes of Glynn (1878), and Sunrise (1881). The latter two poems are generally considered his greatest works. They are part of an unfinished set of lyrical nature poems known as the Hymns of the Marshes. Late in his life, he became a student, lecturer, and, finally, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, specializing in the works of the English novelists, Shakespeare, the Elizabethan sonneteers, Chaucer, and the Anglo-Saxon poets.
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