An Embodied Sonnet That is Never Spent
On Hopkins, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Paradox of Form
The last two weeks, I’ve been devouring fifty of my all-time best favorite sonnets from the past 600 years with my online sonnet class. Except for two deconstructed sonnets (by Robert Hayden and Elizabeth Bishop), all of them meet the physical definition of the sonnet form I’ve used for years: they are approximately the size and proportions of a human hand; they follow a single consistent meter; and every line rhymes with at least one other. These embodied sonnets stand on the shoulders of centuries of others, their physical patterns linking them into a musical, metrical lineage whose right-brain-geared
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