14 June 2017

Smith’s first published collection of poetry, Seventh Heaven, appeared in 1972 and included tributes to Edie Sedgwick and Marianne Faithfull. She dedicated the book to gangster writer Mickey Spillane and Rolling Stones’ muse, and partner of both Brian Jones and Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg.

The book has not been reissued, and print copies are rare. Yet, as the afore-quoted article notes, Patti Smith’s is an “oral poetics” that “uses much of her voice rhythms.” The line between her work as a punk singer and performance poet is ephemeral, perhaps nonexistent—Patti Smith on the page is great, but Patti Smith on stage is greater. Hear for yourself, above, in a 1972 recording of Smith reading twelve poems from her first collection at St. Mark’s Church in New York City. She sounds almost exactly like Linda Manz from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, a streetwise kid with a romantic streak a mile wide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uvQKQfmJbQ http://www.openculture.com/2014/04/hear-patti-smith-read-12-poems-from-seventh-heaven.html

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