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

My mom loved rock 'n roll. My father hated it. We couldn't play it when he was around.

Observing people taking in the work I had watched Robert create was an emotional experience. It had left our private world. It was what I had always wanted for him, but I felt a slight pang of possessiveness sharing it with others. Overriding that feeling was the joy of seeing Robert's face, suffused with confirmation, as he glimpsed the future he had so resolutely sought and had worked so hard to achieve.

Robert trusted the law of empathy, by which he could, by his will, transfer himself into an object or a work of art, and thus influence the outer world? He sought to see what others did not, the projection of his imagination.

The city was a real city, shifty and sexual. I was lightly jostled by small herds of flushed young sailors looking for action on Forty-Second Street, with it rows of X-rated movie houses, brassy women, glittering souvenir shops, and hot-dog vendors. I wandered through Kino parlors and peered through the windows of the magnificent sprawling Grant?s Raw Bar filled with men in black coats scooping up piles of fresh oysters. The skyscrapers were beautiful. They did not seem like mere corporate shells. They were monuments to the arrogant yet philanthropic spirit of America. The character of each quadrant was invigorating and one felt the flux of its history. The old world and the emerging one served up in the brick and mortar of the artisan and the architects. I walked for hours from park to park. In Washington Square, one could still feel the characters of Henry James and the presence of the author himself ? This open atmosphere was something I had not experienced, simple freedom that did not seem oppressive to anyone.

There are so many great 19th-century photographers, and it's really my favorite period, but the amateurs did such beautiful work.

I have a daughter who's 11 years old. Maybe she'll grow up independent and really heavy and become a movie star and she'll play me in my life story.

I loved books; I read my childhood away. I was more interested in my interior world.

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

If I feel any marginalization, it's because the things that concern me aren't so important to other people.

In the '70s, I had a very romantic idea about being out in the world and having a network of people working with me. I thought of it more as a military regiment.

I've said this over and over, but I'll say it a million more times - I'm concerned more about the death of a bee than I am about terrorism. Because we're losing hives and bees by the millions because of such strong pesticides.

My mother and father had so many ups and downs and stayed with each other and helped each other. My mother took in ironing and she was a waitress. My father was working in the factory and he did people's tax returns.

One of my great goals when I first started taking photographs or showing them publicly is that people might want one for over their desk. That's my goal.

Robert was concerned with how to make the photograph, and I with how to be the photograph.

The first record's like a book. It's like a poetry book.

I have another son that's in Iraq right now. So, it's not all the way over for us. But, if we can taste victory this time, I know it will come for us next time.

I met DeKooning once in a bar and he put his hand on my knee right away. I knew I could model for him.

I want to be around a really long time. I want to be a thorn in the side of everything as long as possible.

If I have any regrets, I could say that I'm sorry I wasn't a better writer or a better singer.

In the period where I had to live the life of a citizen - a life where, like everybody else, I did tons of laundry and cleaned toilet bowls, changed hundreds of diapers and nursed children - I learned a lot.

I've written a lot of prose. I just haven't published it.

My mother answers all my fan mail.

Ornette Coleman is a real musician. He takes all of the things he's thinking about in the world - which is a whole universe upon universe - and translates this into music.

Robert was increasingly despondent with his paid work. When he came home he was exhausted and dispirited and for a time stopped creating. I implored him to quit. His job and scant paycheck were not worth the sacrifice? I had no regrets taking on the job as the breadwinner. My temperament was sturdier. I could still create at night and I was proud to provide a situation allowing him to do his work without compromise.

The goodwill that surrounded us was proof that the Fates were conspiring to help their enthusiastic children.

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