Marshes of Glynn

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Sidney Lanier (1842—1881)


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Poem by Lanier, published anonymously in the anthology A Masque of Poets (1878). It is one of six projected “Hymns of the Marshes,” of which the poet completed only three others, “Sunrise,” “Individuality,” and “Marsh-Song—At Sunset.” In anapestic measure, it employs shifting accents, initial truncation, and from one to 17 syllables in a line, to achieve a musical cadence. The poem describes the sea marshes of Glynn County, Georgia, where the author is stimulated to a pagan ecstasy: Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the terminal sea?Somehow my soul seems suddenly freeFrom the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin,By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of Glynn.

Subjects: Literature.

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