From The Marshes of Glynn (poem) & Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Gibson Peacock & Mr. Paul Hamilton Hayne

Sidney Lanier (1842–1881) was the first native Georgian poet to achieve national prominence. A Maconite like John Oliver Killens, Lanier graduated from Oglethorpe University, which was then located near Milledgeville, in 1860. He volunteered for service at the onset of the Civil War, serving in the Confederate signal corps and as a pilot aboard English blockade runners. In 1864 he was captured and held as a prisoner of war for four months in Maryland, during which time he contracted tuberculosis, the disease that would cause his death in 1881. Though known primarily as a poet, Lanier’s first major publication was Tiger-Lilies (1867), his only novel. Lippincott published his Poems in 1877; two other collections, edited by his wife Mary Day Lanier, came out posthumously from Scribner’s in 1884 and 1891. Sidney Lanier’s best-remembered poems are set among the landscapes of Georgia and evoke the rhythms of the natural world. These include “Corn,” “The Song of the Chattahoochee,” “Sunrise,” and the frequently anthologized “The Marshes of Glynn.” He also wrote three volumes of literary criticism and two other nonfiction books: Florida: Its Scenery, Climate and History (1875) and Retrospects and Prospects (1899). The latter includes the essay “Sketches of India,” which Lanier wrote despite the fact that he never set foot in that country. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)