Charlotte Runcie at The Telegraph does some literary sleuthing to contextualize the literary tradition that inspired the sonnet that Lin-Manuel Miranda read at the Tony Awards on Sunday.
...Miranda’s sonnet is 16 lines long, and has some moments of unconventional rhythm. What does that tell us? The best-known writer of the 16-line sonnet is probably the Victorian writer George Meredith, who wrote a sequence of them titled ‘Modern Love’, exploring his own disastrous marriage and expressing a sentiment that love in his time had become corrupted and corrosive.
Miranda adopts Meredith’s form and uses it to talk about his own good marriage, and about love as a positive and unbeatable force. To take a form that had been associated with a poet claiming love is rotten, only to turn it around to use it as a poem about the healing power of love in the face of darkness, is elegant, beautiful and extremely powerful.
(Thanks to SRoB tipper Paul for the link.)