San Francisco, California

Artful

In Ali Smith’s Artful there’s this lovely description of what literature and form are capable of (as I understand it, form is how a sentence is structured and how it sounds as you say it out loud):

For even if we were to find ourselves homeless, in a strange land, with nothing of ourselves left—say we lost everything—we’d still have another kind of home, in aesthetic form itself, in the familiarity, unchanging assurance that a known rhythm, a recognized line, the familiar shape of a story, a tune, a line or phrase or sentence gives us every time, even long after we’ve forgotten we even know it. I place a jar in Tennessee. Once we know it, we’ll never not know it. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. They always will. Rhythm itself is a kind of form and, regardless of whether it’s poetry or prose, it becomes a kind of dwelling place for us.