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Sidney Lanier Writing Styles in Song of the Chattahoochee

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"Song of the Chattahoochee," as the title suggests, is a song. Lanier tries to make the sounds of words have the rhythm and tonal qualities of musical notes. Soon after completing "Song of the Chattahoochee," Lanier wrote a book on poetic theory called The Science of English Verse (1880). In this volume, he embraces a poetry based on time and rhythm rather than one based on accented and unaccented syllables. He scanned lines of poetry using musical notes to indicate the length of each syllable. Lanier broke up his lines into measures or bars, which he further broke down into groups of three or four notes. The musical nature of "Song of the Chattahoochee" is enhanced by the repetition of a slightly varying phrase at the beginning and end of each stanza. This phrase, or refrain, refers to the hills of Habersham and the valleys of Hall and frames the...

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This section contains 277 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Song of the Chattahoochee Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Song of the Chattahoochee from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.