Patti Smith Interview: Poems are Like Prayers



“I left religion when I was twelve, but I never left praying. Many poems have stayed with me in my life and a lot of them were like little prayers.” In this video Patti Smith explains how poetry can be a means for staying in contact with a higher energy.

Smith was brought up with prayer as an important part of her life. In this interview she says: “You can pray anywhere, there are beautiful cathedrals and churches everywhere – or at the sea, or in a field, or falling asleep at night. It’s a way of staying in contact, sometimes just with yourself, sometimes with a higher energy and sometimes with our loved ones. And prayer to me is just a natural part of being.” She also talks about Arthur Rimbaud and how important she considers his poetry.

Patti Smith (b.1946) is an award-winning American punk rock musician, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential figure in the New York City punk rock scene with her debut album ‘Horses’ in 1975. Smith fuses rock and poetry in her work, and has been dubbed the ”punk poet laureate” as well as ”the godmother of punk.” In 2007 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2010 Rolling Stone magazine put her on the 47th place of their list of 100 Greatest Artists. Among her many albums are ’Horses’ (1975), ’Radio Ethiopia’ (1976), ’Easter’ (1978), ’Gone Again’ (1996) and ’Banga’ (2012). Smith is also the author of several books, including ’Woolgathering’ (1992), ’Just Kids’ (2010) – which won the National Book Award and describes her relationship to her lover and friend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe – and ’M Train’ (2015).

Patti Smith was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in August 2012.

Edited by: Honey Biba Beckerlee
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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