Patti Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith

Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith

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

Author Quotes

I would rather write or record something great and have it overlooked than do mediocre work and have it be popular.

In both cases, we're pleased to have resolved them.

I've always looked the same. Since I was a child, I hated having to deal with my hair. I hated having to change my clothes. As a kid, I had a sailor shirt and the same old corduroy pants, and that's what I wanted to wear every day.

My father was a dreamy fellow - he read Plato and Socrates and watched Phillies games.

Nothing is a hobby - each discipline is its own world with its own high standards. Of course, every artist has 'minor works' that they do, but I don't think I have any 'minor disciplines.'

Remember, we are mortal, but poetry is not.

That's something I learnt from Joan Baez, who often sang songs that had a male point of view.

The thing I've always liked about performing is that I decide what I want to wear, whether I want to comb my hair.

I had to learn, really, how to rein in my energies and discipline myself. And I found it very useful. I rebelled against it at first, but it's a good thing to have.

I like gettin' old.

I thought to myself that he contained a whole universe that I had yet to know.

I wrote every day. I don't think I could have written 'Just Kids' had I not spent all of the 80s developing my craft as a writer.

In fact, I thought my calling was to be a painter.

I've always thrived on the encouragement of others.

My father's mother was from Liverpool and she had this very beautiful English china. I only wanted to drink my cocoa out of my grandmother's cup and saucer.

Now, I can tell you about some women writers who truly are fantastic. One is Anna Kavan. She writes stories like I approach Land of a Thousand Dances: she's caught in a haze and then a light, a little teeny light, come through. It could be a leopard, that light, or it could be a spot of blood. It could be anything. But she hooks onto that and spirals out. And she does it within the accessible rhythms of plot, and that's really exciting. She's not hung up with being a woman, she just keeps extending herself, keeps telescoping language and plot. Another great woman writer is Iris Sarazan, who wrote The Runaway. She considered herself a mare, a wild runaway. She was a really intelligent girl stuck in all these convents with a hungry mind. I identify with her 'cause of her hunger to go beyond herself. She wound up in prison, but she escaped and wrote some great books before kicking off. Her books aren't page after page of her beating her breast about how shitty she's been treated, they're books about her exciting telescoping plans of escape. Rhythm, great wild rhythm... The French poet, Rimbaud, predicted that the next great crop of writers would be women. He was the first guy who ever made a big women's liberation statement, saying that when women release themselves from the long servitude of men they're really gonna gush. New rhythms, new poetries, new horrors, new beauties. And I believe in that completely.

Robert took to describing himself as evil, partially joking or just needing to be different? ?You know you don?t have to be evil to be different,? I said. ?You are different. Artists are their own breed.?

The child, mystified by the commonplace, moves effortlessly into the strange.

Then I read Little Women, and of course, like a lot of really young girls, I was very taken with Jo - Jo being the writer and the misfit.

I hated the soup and felt little for the can.

I look at these kids, you know, and I could be their mother, their mistress, their older woman. Some of the kids at the concerts are 15.

I understood that in this small space of time we had mutually surrendered our loneliness and replaced it with trust.

I'd just make sure with anything I say I know what I'm talking about.

In my low periods, I wondered what was the point of creating art. For whom? Are we animating God? Are we talking to ourselves? And what was the ultimate goal? To have one?s work caged in art?s great zoos ? the Modern, the Met, the Louvre? I craved honesty, yet found dishonesty in myself? It seemed indulgent to add to the glut unless one offered illumination.

I've lost lots of men in my life, besides my mother, which is a whole different loss.

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Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith
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American Writer, Poet, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter and Visual Artist