Long ago I found a seed, And kept it in a glass of water, And half forgot my dim intent Until I saw it start to reach For life with one blind, fragile root. And then I pressed it into earth And saw its tendrils seek the air, So slowly that I hardly knew Of any change till it had grown A stalk, a leaf; and seemed to be No more a thing in need of me, But living by some sapience I had not given, could not withdraw.
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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