Smith's fans remain legion; her 1975 album Horses, a masterpiece, continues to influence and inspire. Her writings, appearing over the years following the band's '80s dormancy, have garnered a cult following not unlike that of Charles Bukowski. The press chat quotes the following from a poem called "The Long Road": "We broke our mother's heart and became ourselves./ We proceeded to breathe and therefore to leave,/ drunken startled beings, each of us a god." It's hard to imagine those lines in a book published by Ecco without Smith to back them up. Yet they do convey what can only be called Smith's mystique, and the book as whole effectively transmits the affect and aura, as well as the innocence, that make her a rock star: one believes in her. There are better lines and poems among the 24 short lyrics (along with the long, diffuse "Birds of Iraq"); the book certainly eclipses, say, Billy Corgan's recent Blinking with Fists. There are more polished books of poems by bandleaders (David Berman's Actual Air and Jeff Tweedy's Adult Head come to mind), but these poems allow access to a major artist's thoughts and preoccupations. (Oct. 11)
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Poetry is the foundation and soul of Smith's music, from her first revolutionary album, Horses (1975), on to Trampin' (2004). A mystic and a provocateur, a mendicant and a shaman, Smith has always celebrated her love of literature, including that of Blake and Rimbaud. In her first collection of new poems in many years, she presents lithe works unsettling in their spiritual inquiry, archetypal imagery, and dissonant juxtapositions. Smith tells strange tales of pilgrims' quests across landscapes of loss and wonder. The auguries of innocence are not rosy as Smith considers a world forever at war in which children are abused and hungry, themes explored most dramatically in the hauntingly beautiful "Birds of Iraq" and the hard-driving prose poem "Our Jargon Muffles the Drum." Romantic and renegade, Smith moves from anger to empathy, reminding us that there is healing in outcry, solace in language, catharsis in expression. As always, Smith leads us to the sorrowing depths, then dances us back into the light. Donna Seaman
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She is one of my most favorite artists of all time. Anything Patti.Published 1 month ago by Frances
Some of the most enjoyable reading I've every experienced. The poems are sympathetic and direct - reads like a dream and has the most profound yet simple manner. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karyn Mullin
I love these poems definitively a must have. a lot to discover in these poems it takes you to different places as you read.Published 21 months ago by Diego
Auguries of Innocence: Poems - by Patti Smith
As soon as anything by this way out there, candid Artist is available
it is the exact gift for family member, who... Read more
Patti's writing, both credible and competent, structured far more conventional than I expected, reading more like an homage to tradition than a confrontation towards form.Published on December 29, 2010 by Brian