Background Notes — As She Would Want
Like how she did in her essay on sestina variations, Sara was working on an essay exploring sonnet variations. She started with traditional sonnet forms, then aimed to explore the character of those sonnet structures via an examination of sonnet variations. For that, she turned first to the variation introduced by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the curtal sonnet, inspiring our group to join her in writing some of that variation, as I’ve done here as a nod to her work.
Like she did in her sestina essay, her sonnet variations essay then generalized Hopkins’ methods to every which way, short and long, inside out and backward and looped, every way her imagination could take it. Then all back home to show more of the heart of a sonnet than even a poetic cardiologist might ever get to see.
Adrien was helping her with the math. Then at her insistence, with sketching what she was seeing, to help her frame her words. She can see his mind flowing through the formulas, and he can draw what she wants the words to say.
Which might have been what opened the hole in the wall between all the words she found so easy to relearn, versus the images she brought back. Because his sketches began stretching off from her sonnet essay more and more into things even I could never understand of what she wanted to say. And now as none of her words seem at all coherent, he paints for her, and she smiles, so I know he knows where she is and that she knows she is not alone.
No matter how many of hers I read, I don’t think I’ll ever write one entirely on my own. This is the one of the first ones I’ve done without her help. I’m grateful for the support of her friends. I take credit and responsibility for what this one says, but thanks goes to them for how it gets said in the curtal sonnet form meant to honor her blessing on us.