Patti Smith Jonathan Cott - Essay

Jonathan Cott

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The writer Grace Paley once talked in an interview about the fact that many women missed the sense of boyhood when they were children, "the freedom and excitement of boyhood," and that girls would try "to invent some kind of risky, boyhood life for [their] girlhood—which creates imagination, which means imagination."

Patti Smith—poet and rock-and-roll star—accepted her boyhood life right from the beginning. "Female. feel male," she wrote in her little book "Seventh Heaven." "Ever since I felt the need to choose / I'd choose male."…

A kind of cross between Alice in Wonderland and Huck Finn—a working-class kid who took off from the New Jersey backwater to become a poète...

(The entire section is 997 words.)