The letter—with its references to Hyacinthus and Apollo—was indeed so effusive as to be more like a work of literature than a regular communication. Its artistic excess could be turned to advantage. Pierre Louÿs was asked to transform the text into a sonnet—a French poetic version of Wilde's "prose poem." It could then be published... By making the letter public, they sought to destroy its power. No one had ever been blackmailed over a published poem.
— Matthew Sturgis, Oscar Wilde