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Woolgathering Hardcover – 10 May 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408832305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408832301
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A poet of distinction (New York Times)

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 ... The passages evoking her childhood do reverberate with serene joy ... Writing was not Smith's first choice ... But any fans of her music will not be surprised by her mastery of it here (Observer)

Book Description

National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids, Patti Smith writes of her childhood in this glittering memoir

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pagan Ronnie on 5 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
This tiny little book (and it is small, like a thin pack of cards size) is one of my very favourite out of all the ones on my bookshelf!
It consists of prose rather than 'poems'.
It is so well written: little intimate stories from Patti's childhood, it feels like she's sharing her most private and treasured thoughts/fantasies/secrets with you and only you as you read.
Very difficult to put my finger on what exactly makes these simple little tales so transfixing - but I guess if I could do that I could write like it myself! How do you quantify genius?
If you read my other Patti Smith book reviews you'll see I'm no sycophant. I admit I am a huge fan of Patti's music, prose & poetry but if I think it's rubbish I'll say so!
On this occasion though, this book, however small, is GREAT!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By KindleEuroReader on 7 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A small dream of a book - it's short and you end up reading only a few pages at a time .... just to save
and make it last.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BBC on 9 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb. Patti is an excellent poet. Buy it and be educated. She is not only a song writer. Although she's brilliant there as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As ever a thoughtful mind at work in the dirt and the clouds, with living and dying. Very enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful! 8 Feb 2010
By Josephine Segarra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is just awesome; I'd been looking for it for the longest time and was so glad to finally find it. Patti is such a wonderful writer, conjuring up such vivid images with her words. She shares so many childhood memories here, its so interesting to hear from whence she came :)

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A mysterious and charming little book 7 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It fits in the palm of your hand and unfolds mysterious narrative & lyric threads interspersed with black & white photos, some taken by the author's sister. A must for the die-hard-dyed-in-the wool Patti fan.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Quietly moving, subtle intensity 31 Mar 2012
By Jaime H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Patti Smith that we so often envision is the one of intensity and power, ranting relentlessly onstage. She is the Patti that is the embodiment of punk, and is busy serving up rebellion and telling `the man' how it is. For more hardcore fans and followers, there is also a Patti that is the intelligent Baudelaire-quoting troubadour. She is the one that has seen so much and shares it all freely for others to learn.
In Woolgathering, we are given a look into the creation and life of this powerhouse that delivers a glimpse of fragility and reflection. First published nearly twenty years ago, just after her 45th birthday, Woolgathering went largely unnoticed. This remastered edition supplies extended content and photos from the early life of Patti Smith, along with a further look into the icon herself.
With intertwining stories from her childhood, those from her early twenties, and the reflection back on them, we are transported into a life that could be anyone's. Smith takes the magic and unawareness that it is to be a child, and draws us into a world that is almost magical, but almost tattered at the same time, managing to write about her childhood experiences without filling in the gaps of knowledge with what she has learned as an adult. She then drifts into the mind of what it is to be in your twenties and think that the world is yours, and that every word, every decision, carries such a heavy importance with it. Flowing easily from the unawareness of childhood, to the self-absorption of young-adulthood, to the self-reflection of later life, Woolgathering is a dreamy, yet honest autobiography.
There is a quiet intensity that pulls one through the pages of this book that cannot be fully described or credited. Woolgathering is more a book of poetry in many ways, masquerading as a situational memoir. It is not a linear telling of the stories inside, as one quickly realizes that time matters less the older we get. It is more about the relation of the experiences to each other, rather than the timeline on which they may reside. In such a slim volume, there is so much feeling, urgency, and exploration that it will be read in one sitting- and then read again and again, slower each time, as one draws out their own meanings from the stories being told.
26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
The Wonders Of Woolgathering: Patti's Peak 23 July 2003
By John Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This little book is the very essence of all that I love most about Patti Smith, and I think, her greatest piece of writing, period. For me she is a bridge between my past(Rock 'N' Roll obsessions)and present(totally Shamanically immersed)with the way that she set out to be a throughy modern Western, Rock 'N' Roll even, Shamanita. At her least sucessful she is a self-obsessed ultra modern poser, set in a pose of the perpetual rocker tough gal outsider...and it feels like such a pose, or show, because of how it contrasts with her when she's not shucking & jiving...you see at her best...she is a free form channeler of the muse of the great mystery itself, and rarely have anyone written as gracefully about such impossible subjects. Her work here is heartbreakingly beautiful and rates with the best of Rumi or e.e. cummings; to name two others who tackled such subjects with both their writings and the living of their very lives as well. I know the price is usually very high on this, & it is a small book...but only in size, & length...it is absolutely enormous in all it aspires to, and priceless in how it ascends towards it's tasks !
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Exquisite Magic 5 July 2012
By Unicorn R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Patti Smith once again graces us with the opportunity to get inside not her head, but her soul. Patti does not hold anything back. She shares everything she has inside her with such care that it makes you feel as if you were becoming her, with that intimate relationship the book offers you. This short tiny book offers more deep thoughts than 700 page books. Recommended to any person who can read. A must for every human.
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