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

When I was younger, I also dreamed of being an opera singer, simply because of Maria Callas.

Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

We were as Hansel and Gretel and we ventured out into the black forest of the world.

When I was younger, I felt it was my duty to wake people up. I thought poetry was asleep. I thought rock 'n' roll was asleep.

To be an artist is to enter into competition with god.

We were walking toward the fountain, the epicenter of activity, when an older couple stopped and openly observed us. Robert enjoyed being noticed, and he affectionately squeezed my hand. Oh, take their picture, said the woman to her bemused husband, I think they're artists. Oh, go on, he shrugged. They're just kids.

When Robert and Patti were young and poor, only one of them could afford to go into a gallery at a time. The other waited outside, waiting to hear about it.

To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It's freedom.

Well, I'm not one of those people who needs the limelight. If I'm performing, that's what I'm doing. If I'm not, I don't long for it. I don't need the approval of an audience, or applause.

When we awoke he greeted me with his crooked smile, and I knew he was my knight.

Truthfully, I don't really think of myself as a photographer. I don't have all the disciplines and knowledge of a person who's spent their life devoted to photography.

What a model of an artist was for me was an artist who worked. Picasso was the ultimate model, because the work ethic he had.

When we got to the part where we had to improvise an argument in a poetic language, I got cold feet. ?I can?t do this,? I said. ?I don?t know what to say.? ?Say anything,? he said. ?You can?t make a mistake when you improvise.? ?What if I mess it up? What if I screw up the rhythm?? ?You can?t,? he said. ?It?s like drumming. If you miss a beat, you create another.? In this simple exchange, Sam taught me the secret of improvisation, one that I have accessed my whole life.

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.

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