Patti Smith Tony Glover - Essay

Tony Glover

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[There's] a new kind of poetry being made—a poetry that exists in equal partnership with the rhythm and sound of music, poetry that needs performing to make it real.

A few poets have realized this to some extent, and there are more and more readings—but Patti Smith, New Jersey swamp child and angel-envisioning rock-and-roll street punk, says that poets are killing poetry.

"The idea of reading to a bunch of people is really self-centered … it takes a lot to get somebody off when you're reading," she told me…. [I] "figure if you're gonna put yourself publicly, any performer better be able to stand behind his performance—especially a poet. I don't wanna be no simp reading boring intellectual shit to a YMCA …"

There isn't much to worry about that on any count … as [Seventh Heaven] will show. Patti is one of the first poets of rock&roll; she has a literary background, on top of that she's placed the pulse and beat of the stereo and street—to make a modern combination with something for everybody … brain and boogie freak alike. (p. 52)

All of Patti's work is heavily autobiographical, some true, some fantasy, but all very much a part of her world….

The first poem, "seventh heaven" … talks about Eve and all the badmouthing she took after eating the apple:

She bit. Must we blame her abuse her.
poor sweet bitch. Perhaps theres more to the story.
think of Satan as some stud.
maybe her knees were open …

I won't spoil it for you by quoting...

(The entire section is 691 words.)