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Woolgathering

Overview

The National Book Award–winner Patti Smith presents a treasure box of a childhood memoir about “clear unspeakable joy” and “just the wish to know.”
A great book about becoming an artist, Woolgathering tells of a youngster finding herself as she learns the noble vocation of woolgathering, “a worthy calling that seemed a good job for me.” She discovers—often at night, often in nature—the pleasures of rescuing “a fleeting thought.” Deeply moving, Wool- gathering calls up our own ...

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Overview

The National Book Award–winner Patti Smith presents a treasure box of a childhood memoir about “clear unspeakable joy” and “just the wish to know.”
A great book about becoming an artist, Woolgathering tells of a youngster finding herself as she learns the noble vocation of woolgathering, “a worthy calling that seemed a good job for me.” She discovers—often at night, often in nature—the pleasures of rescuing “a fleeting thought.” Deeply moving, Wool- gathering calls up our own memories, as the child “glimpses and gleans, piecing together a crazy quilt of truths.” Smith introduces us to her tribe, “a race of cloud dwellers,” and to the fierce, vital pleasures of cloud watching and stargazing and wandering.
A radiant new autobiographical piece, “Two Worlds” (which was not in the original 1992 Hanuman edition of Woolgathering), and the author’s photographs and illustrations are also included. Woolgathering celebrates the sacred nature of creation with Smith’s beautiful style, acclaimed as “glorious” (NPR), “spellbinding” (Booklist), “rare and ferocious” (Salon), and “shockingly beautiful” (New York Magazine).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"The writing of it drew me from my strange torpor and I hope that in some measure it will fill the reader with a vague and curious joy." Poet, artist, and musician Smith, winner of the National Book Award for Just Kids, provides a new introduction for this childhood memoir (first published in 1992), describing how the book developed from a period of intense depression. Smith's concise, lyrical essays invite the reader to dwell on the text. In "Barndance," she describes how children grow to recognize the dichotomy between physical similarities to their families and cognitive differences. Several essays discuss her artistic goals, and in "Two Worlds," she writes about her dream of becoming a painter. Belonging is a frequent theme, and in "Millet," she writes about her connection, and lack thereof, with her grandmothers and mother. Half beautiful language and metaphors, half raw emotion, this book (which includes a handful of personal photos) will inspire and influence a new generation of logophiles as they read and reread this absorbing, meditative work. (Nov.)
Booklist
“Smith is well attuned to the otherwordly dimension of dreams and cosmic visions. In this intimate and vaulting collection, she ushers us into the kingdom of childhood…Smith looks to family history for sources of her artistic impulses and portrays herself in adulthood as a roaming mystic,
journal in hand, heart and mind open. Exultations of concentrated beauty and mystery ignite Smith’s soulful poems about the making of an artist.”
The New York Times
“A poet of distinction.”
The Guardian

Capturing moments of her adult life, Smith pares down her prose to a state of vivid impressionism, so enigmatic that even ordinary acts - preparing mint tea, nodding off while sewing - take on spiritual weight.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811219440
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 11/28/2011
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 257,931
  • Product dimensions: 4.70 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Patti Smith

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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