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

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.

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.

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