Patti Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith

Patti
Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith
1946

American Writer, Poet, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter and Visual Artist

Author Quotes

Usually when I go to a place for the first time, unless there's something historical or spectacular that nature has to offer, the first thing I like to do is see what's on the minds of the people.

What I really like is an intelligent review. It doesn't have to be positive. A review that has some kind of insight, and sometimes people say something that's startling or is so poignant.

Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.

Vowels are the most illuminated letters in the alphabet. Vowels are the colors and souls of poetry and speech.

What I say should always be prefaced with this: I'm not really politically articulate. I just try to be like Thomas Paine: what is common sense? So when I say these things to you, I am speaking from a humanist point of view. I just look around and see what's wrong.

Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply.

We believe we will raise the sky, we got to fly over the land, over the sea. Fate unwinds and if we die, souls arise. God, do not seize me please.

What I wanted to do in rock 'n roll was merge poetry with sonic scapes, and the two people who had contributed so much to that were Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

Why do people want to know exactly who I am? Am I a poet? Am I this or that? I've always made people wary. First they called me a rock poet. Then I was a poet that dabbled in rock. Then I was a rock person who dabbled in art.

We imagined ourselves as the Sons of Liberty with a mission to preserve, protect, and project the revolutionary spirit of rock and roll. We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire of spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity. We would call forth in our minds the image of Paul Revere, riding through the American night, petitioning the people to wake up, to take up arms. We too would take up arms, the arms of our generation, the electric guitar and the microphone.

What if I mess it up? What if I screw up the rhythm?

Wisdom was a teapot, pouring from above. Desolation angels, served it up with love.

We learned we wanted too much. We could only give from the perspective of who we were and what we had. Apart, we were able to see with even greater clarity that we didn?t want to be without each other.

What is the soul? What color is it? I suspected my soul, being mischievous, might slip away while I was dreaming and fail to return. I did my best not to fall asleep, to keep it inside of me where it belonged.

Within that moment was trust, compassion, and our mutual sense of irony. He was carrying death within him and I was carrying life. We were both aware of that, I know.

We never had any children, he said ruefully. Our work was our children.

What matters is the work: the string of words propelled by God becoming a poem, the weave of color and graphite scrawled upon a sheet that magnifies His motion. To achieve within the work a perfect balance of faith and execution. From this state of mind becomes a light, life-charged.

Words are just rules and regulations to me.

We promised that we'd never leave one another again, until we both knew we were ready to stand on our own. And this vow, through everything we were yet to go through, we kept.

What will happen to us? I asked. There will always be us, he answered.

Writing is not some quiet, closet act.

We tried not to age, but time had its rage.

When I stopped performing for 16 years and lived in Michigan and was married and raising my children, I wrote about four or five books. I haven't published them. I just haven't gotten around to it for several reasons.

Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up.

We used to laugh at our small selves, saying that I was a bad girl trying to be good and that he was a good boy trying to be bad. Through the years these roles would reverse, then reverse again, until we came to accept our dual natures. We contained opposing principles, light and dark.

Author Picture
First Name
Patti
Last Name
Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith
Birth Date
1946
Bio

American Writer, Poet, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter and Visual Artist