Sidney Lanier

Literary Birthday – 3 February – Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier was born 3 February 1842, and died 7 September 1881.

Seven Quotes

  1. Music is love in search of a word.
  2. Gradually I find that my whole soul is merging itself into this business of writing, and especially of writing poetry. I am going to try it; and am going to test, in the most rigid way I know, the awful question whether it is my vocation.
  3. Virtues are acquired through endeavour, which rests wholly upon yourself.
  4. If a man made himself an expert in any particular branch of human activity, there would result the strong tendency that a peculiar aptitude towards the same branch would be found among some of his descendants.
  5. Verse is a set of specially related sounds, repeated aloud.
  6. My principle is, the artist shall put forth, humbly & lovingly, without bitterness, the very best & highest that is within him, utterly regardless of contemporary criticism.
  7. Music means harmony, harmony means love.

Sidney Lanier was an American musician, poet and author. His works reflected a love of the land, as well as his concern over declining values and commercial culture in the Reconstruction South. He became a professor and is known for his adaptation of musical meter to poetry. His works are available in The Poems of Sidney Lanier.


by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd February 2017