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Woolgathering Hardcover – November 28, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A poet of distinction.

A poet of distinction. "

About the Author

Patti Smith is a poet, performer, visual artist, and author of the National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids. She has twelve albums, has had numerous gallery shows, and continues to give concerts of her music and poetry. Her books include Early Work, The Coral Sea, Witt, Babel, Auguries of Innocence, Woolgathering, Land 250, Trois, and many others. She lives in New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 1 edition (November 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811219445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811219440
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Evelyn Getchell TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOOLGATHERING by Patti Smith is a rare and precious jewel of a book - a small but multifaceted memoir of rich, artistic expression and shimmering, ethereal prose that takes soaring flight with the evocative imagery of Patti's unique and genuine poetic language.

Patti Smith writes with such grace and honesty from her most sacred interior landscapes that each of the memories she shares with us in WOOLGATHERING is a nugget of pure gold, mined from the substratum of her personal truth.

I have always loved Patti Smith's music, ever since I first heard Horses when I myself was a young Bohemian in the mid-seventies. The music was great but her lyrics... well, they took my breath away. Those songs were so powerful and so liberating to me that I soon became a great admirer of all of Patti Smith's writing as well.

And here I am now, a sixty year old lady in Florida, still dancing with wild abandon to the pulsating rhythms of Patti's language and music, still being carried away by the sound of her dreams and her meditations.

One doesn't have to listen to Patti's band or any of her albums to hear the music of Patti's soul. No. Just pick up this small, beautiful book and begin reading. Read it aloud to yourself as I like to do and I promise you that you will hear Patti's prose sing to you. Patti Smith's prose is her instrument of poetry, her instrument of vision.

In WOOLGATHERING the vision of Patti Smith is a lyrical celebration of coming into fullness and its "clear, unspeakable joy." Patti hopes that this little book "will fill the reader with a vague and curious joy." I can confirm that this reader has not only been filled with that vague and curious joy, my consciousness has blossomed with it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Patti Smith once again graces us with the opportunity to get inside not her head, but her soul. Patti does not hold anything back. She shares everything she has inside her with such care that it makes you feel as if you were becoming her, with that intimate relationship the book offers you. This short tiny book offers more deep thoughts than 700 page books. Recommended to any person who can read. A must for every human.
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Format: Hardcover
The Patti Smith that we so often envision is the one of intensity and power, ranting relentlessly onstage. She is the Patti that is the embodiment of punk, and is busy serving up rebellion and telling `the man' how it is. For more hardcore fans and followers, there is also a Patti that is the intelligent Baudelaire-quoting troubadour. She is the one that has seen so much and shares it all freely for others to learn.
In Woolgathering, we are given a look into the creation and life of this powerhouse that delivers a glimpse of fragility and reflection. First published nearly twenty years ago, just after her 45th birthday, Woolgathering went largely unnoticed. This remastered edition supplies extended content and photos from the early life of Patti Smith, along with a further look into the icon herself.
With intertwining stories from her childhood, those from her early twenties, and the reflection back on them, we are transported into a life that could be anyone's. Smith takes the magic and unawareness that it is to be a child, and draws us into a world that is almost magical, but almost tattered at the same time, managing to write about her childhood experiences without filling in the gaps of knowledge with what she has learned as an adult. She then drifts into the mind of what it is to be in your twenties and think that the world is yours, and that every word, every decision, carries such a heavy importance with it. Flowing easily from the unawareness of childhood, to the self-absorption of young-adulthood, to the self-reflection of later life, Woolgathering is a dreamy, yet honest autobiography.
There is a quiet intensity that pulls one through the pages of this book that cannot be fully described or credited.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is just awesome; I'd been looking for it for the longest time and was so glad to finally find it. Patti is such a wonderful writer, conjuring up such vivid images with her words. She shares so many childhood memories here, its so interesting to hear from whence she came :)

Jo
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Forty years ago, Patti Smith changed rock music with the release of Horses. She combined Beat sensibility with outraged punk, confounding critics and listeners alike. She embraced androgyny, sexuality, sensuality and sensibility in her music, poetry, writing and spoken word performance art, and was Robert Mapplethorp's muse. Now she has emerged as one of America's finest prose writers, and most certainly Woolgathering is a testament to her talent. Written and published when Smith turned 45, Woolgathering is a collection of childhood memories, stories she says are true as she remembers them. They are woven together in a stream-of-consciousness recollection, reading Woolgathering is like lying on the grass on a summer afternoon staring up at the sky and watching clouds drift and float and meander overhead. The sky is Smith's narrative, and her memories clouds.
It makes no difference that almost 25 years has past since Smith spent some time gathering the wool of her memories and imagination and translated them into ink on paper.
Don't expect Just Kids, don't expect Babel; have no expectations, and just relax and read as if sky-gazing as clouds pass overhead.
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