Favorite Quotes

"For my totem, the alley cat. We share the situation of small predators who easily become prey. I have my equivalent of claws and teeth, and indeed my arched back and loud hiss are my best defenses. When I need to hide my size and weakness, I can look fiercer than I am, but when I cannot talk or threaten or argue my way out of trouble, then I am in a lot of trouble. We are scavengers in the alleys and streets of a society we do not control and scarcely influence. We survive and perish both by taking lovers. Freedom is a daily necessity like water, and we love most loyally and longest those who allow us at least occasionally to vanish and wander the curious night. To them we always return from the eight deaths before the last."


from Braided Lives by Marge Piercy

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A Softer Side of Patti

Just Kids

Title: Just Kids
By: Patti Smith

What do artists mean when they refer to having “a breakthrough” and from that point, go on to create their own unique style of expression? This autobiography describes the working conditions of the poet and punk rock star Patti Smith, and her friend, the late avant garde photographer Robert Mapplethorpe during the early 1970’s in New York City. In spite of living in a crummy apartment and not having 2 nickels to rub together, the young artists happily stoked each other’s dreams of ambition and developed their art, side by side.

Robert suggested that Patti ought to perform her poetry, that it needed to be heard out loud, and she proposed that instead of cutting up photos from magazines, it would be better if Robert take pictures with his own camera. With those heartfelt words of encouragement, the respective light bulbs turned on, and they headed in their intended directions and eventual fame.

A true marker of the times, Just Kids won the 2010 National Book Award for Nonfiction. In her acceptance speech, Patti put her hands together and implored, “Publishers, there is nothing more beautiful than the book; the paper, the font, the cloth. No matter how we advance technologically, please never abandon the book, there’s nothing in our material world, more beautiful than the book.”

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction, history, biography, poetry, photography, art

Posted by pollockl on Jan. 26, 2011 at 11:20 a.m.
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