… not my own opinion, but my wife’s: Yesterday, when weary with writing, I was called to supper, and a salad I had asked for was set before me. ‘It seems then,’ I said, ‘if pewter dishes, leaves of lettuce, grains of salt, drops of water, vinegar, oil and slices of eggs had been flying about in the air for all eternity, it might at last happen by chance that there would come a salad.’ ‘Yes,’ responded my lovely, ‘but not so nice as this one of mine.
The power of the artform is stronger than stone, the poet says, and chooses the sonnet, a form concerned with argument and persuasion, to say so. This sonnet, he says, will last longer than any gravestone-and you'll be made shinier, brighter, by it. In this form it will-and therefore you will-avoid destruction by war, history, time generally; it'll even keep you alive after death; in fact it'll form a place for you to live, not die, where you'll be seen in the eyes of and the context of this love right to the end of time.