The renowned Southern poet Sidney Lanier was born in 1842 in a cottage on the outskirts of Macon, Georgia. Though home to Lanier only in his childhood, the pastoral setting was significant enough in his imagination to influence many of his most celebrated poems. His work is notable for its intimate depiction of the landscape and intricate musical renderings, as seen in his poem "The Marshes of Glynn" which begins:
Glooms of the live-oaks, beautiful-braided and woven
With intricate shades of the vines that myriad-cloven
Clamber the forks of the multiform boughs...
Since Lanier's birth, the city of Macon has grown up around his first home. His birthplace, located at 935 High Street, now stands in a neighborhood of other historic homes and has been converted into a museum operated by the Historic Macon Foundation. A variety of Lanier’s family’s belongings are displayed in the cottage, including photographs, first-edition volumes of his poetry, and his alto flute. For hours, admission fees, and more information, visit the Historic Macon Foundation website.
The cottage is not the only tribute to Lanier's life and work. In addition to a lake named for him in central Georgia, travelers through Brunswick, Georgia, will happen upon the Sidney Lanier Bridge, which is the longest bridge in the state and one of the largest bridges ever named in honor of a poet.