The last few posts having been dedicated to sonnets, I am left with one question.
I vaguely sense why the sonnet is so well suited to themes of love, not so as to try to explain it, yet I can feel that it is a perfect fit. Love-sonnet. Sonnet-love. It just fits well.
Yet I am left with the question, why are sonnets so perfectly fitted to love from a distance? Dante did not marry Beatrice. Petrarch found Laura unreachable. Rossetti wrote her sonnets after she had to break her engagement. Always Astrophel is longing for his (or her) Stella, but Stella is always out of reach.
Rossetti even mildly criticized her friend and hero Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
"Or had the Great Poetess of our own day and nation only been unhappy instead of happy, her circumstances would have invited her to bequeath to us, in lieu of the 'Portuguese Sonnets', an inimitable 'donna innominata' drawn not from fancy but from feeling, and worthy to occupy a niche beside Beatrice and Laura."
Rossetti felt that EBB's sonnets suffered from their author being happy! That is, being actually in hope of gaining the object of her love. Yet it is well worth remembering that although EBB was engaged when she wrote most or all of the Portuguese Sonnets, she was not married. They still were parted, and in fact were kept apart to a very great extent. These were happy sonnets perhaps, but they were also sonnets of great longing for fulfillment. After their marriage the new Mrs. Browning does not seem to have written more sonnets to her husband.
So, my question: Why are sonnets not only perfectly fitted to love, but also seem to be perfectly fitted to love from a distance?