Background Notes — No Last Mornings
Sara would scorn any suggestion that we are exploiting her work. She openly invited us to continue to collaborate with her, leaving us thousands of poetry fragments specifically set aside for us to harmonize to.
Sara’s vision and voice gave us the spark to write in collaboration as we do here. When she’d lost all but her words, the words she held from earlier collaborations spoke to her of a special, unique love that mirrored the love of a marriage. Whether in poems we write that include some of her own writing or in our own collaborative poems that breathe the spirit of her muse, she will always remain a vibrant life of this family.
Of course, collaborative poetry is no more a new thing than marriage. One of very numerous sterling examples: tanka chains, shared among two or more poets. She left us numerous tanka pieces she wanted us to weave into our own. No Last Mornings starts off with one of hers, continues with a response by David, then brings the rest of us in.
Sara also was intrigued by the history of traditional tanka as poetry shared between two lovers nearing a separation at dawn. Our family’s principal poetry reader has long focused on aubades, and she was pleased when he included one of her aubades in his recommended reading list. No Last Mornings is meant to be a tanka aubade, as Sara wanted.