Read Woolgathering by Patti Smith Online


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 gleanA 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)....

Title : Woolgathering
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780811219440
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 80 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Woolgathering Reviews

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-05-27 08:25

    I am not looking forward to this. Reviewing has become a compulsion of sorts, and this time it won't be fun. Let me soften the blow for myself with this preface: Patti. Oh, Patti. You are an inspirational, resplendent banshee of a human being, a punchy, lithe little poet, a galvanizing artist, and a generally kick-ass b*tch. For this reason, it is with knuckles in teeth that I make this statement: I thought your book was kinda trite. I didn't want to, really. I hope this isn't a deal-breaker, as I still totally want to be your Gloria, K-R-I-S-T-I.This book reminded me of those facebook posts that my mother is always making fun of, as they are one of her more prominent pet-peeves: "Vegan biscuits and gravy for breakfast, yummy!""The BF just bought me some new UGGS. Supes cute!""Cuddling up with the kittie and Buffy reruns tonight. Blessed."You know the ones. Well, this book is a lot of that sort of thing. If your whole life has just been a long wait for excruciating details about Patti's average idle day, please let me assuage you: she likes mint tea, Jean Cocteau films, and walks in the forest; she has a newspaper clipping of Fernando Pessoa on her wall, and she never wears socks; no showers for Patti, it's baths all the way, baby. That is how most of this book reads: tedious, numbing, and forgettable. Did I mention it's kinda pretentious, too? The metaphors and imagery presented mostly feel either superfluous and tired or ham-handed bordering on completely nonsensical. Some of the dream-world stuff is lovely, though, but I should admit right here and now that I am a sucker for that sort of thing. I loved drifting off into the end of the world parts of Hardboiled Wonderland and the sci-fi realm constructed in The Blind Assassin. Certain things just make lucid the memories of fantasias built by a little girl who would wander around in golden wheat fields searching for Pepe Le Pew's tail, sat in a corner of the living room for hours crafting elaborate friendships and lively conversations between her talking hands, and who could never seem to watch The Neverending Story enough times. I like remembering that little girl, because she tells me to lighten up. She lets me know it's okay. She reminds me that it is important to dream big dreams sometimes. The best parts of Woolgathering summoned that child, albeit in a flickering, muffled, smeary way lacking any sort of resounding echo. Too bad.I should probably give this thing 2 stars for "it was okay" considering that's exactly how I feel, but instead I am going to give it 3 stars and simply express my opinion in words: it was okay. Why the 3 stars, then? It wasn't 2-star torture, and sprinkled bits of the prose shook away some of the soot collected over my long-lost childhood wonder. Besides, if anyone has earned the rights to a little pretension, it's Patti fucking Smith.

  • Kristijan
    2019-06-08 05:14

    Ne mogu tačno da se setim koliko godina sam imao kada sam prvi put čuo pesmu "Because the night" ali se jasno sećam jula 2009. godine kada je Patti Smith sa glavne scene EXIT festivala počela da je peva. I sada kada pustim snimak sa Youtube-a prođu me žmarci i ne prestajem da se divim ovoj ženi kako je u tih nekoliko minuta, koliko traje pesma, uspela da svede gomilu emocija na predivan tekst pesme, praćen izvanrednom melodijom. Ima nešto neverovatno u Peti Smit...Čitanje "Sakupljanja vune" je za mene bilo poput prisustvovanju nekom koncertu koji nije za široke mase, na kom Peti ispoveda svoje detinjstvo, malo kroz prozu, malo kroz poeziju. Ona se priseća detinjstva i puta kojim je išla - od one male Peti koja noću gleda kroz prozor svoje sobe, do one Peti koja piše ove biografske stranice. A ostalo je mnogo od tog deteta u ovoj samo fizički odrasloj verziji nje same... Ostale su one emocije i ona začuđenost svetom, samo su ih vreme i iskustvo preoblikovali. Nakon čitanja ovog prozno-poetskog dela, u glavi ostaju dve slike:Mala Peti, koja proviruje noću kroz prozor, dok cela njena porodica spava; ona molitvom "pozdravlja svog Boga" i kroz snene oči posmatra poljanu snova pored svoje kuće na kojoj vredno rade tajanstveni sakupljači vune... I Velika Peti, na sceni, jedan od stubova svetske muzičke scene, i njene ruke koje, i dok peva i dok piše, sakupljaju finu vunu sa vlastitog života i predu je u fino tkanje njenih reči.

  • Allyson
    2019-06-17 06:28

    This is a small beautiful book, one I would choose to own for frequent reads. Her inclusion of the Hanuman book concept is illustrative of it's predictive talismanic power. I would love to carry it around as a little "prayer" book. There is something in her words that resonates strongly, moves me, and I found the reading of this small volume completely soul quenching and calming. It is an early morning with birdsong and rain threatening which seems the perfect backdrop for a fall into her pages- just a transcendent experience as I suppose was intended, perhaps unconsciously, or not.This cover seems to be the reissue cover which is gorgeous and apropos given the title, but the original with clouds is also beautiful. And no doubt, the original printed by Hanuman Books is far superior if more costly.

  • Jeff Jackson
    2019-06-05 09:14

    Patti's early years in prose. Some startling images - bat wings crackling in a barn fire. Some wonderful reveries that start in listless cafes and drift into souks selling blood red stones. Stories about her infant sister's sickness, her great-grandmother's imperious non-regard, her dog's mysterious death. Also some commonplaces and generalizations that dilute the poetic intensity, but overall this is a very companionable book. Handsomely designed and interspersed with photos, too.

  • Deniz Balcı
    2019-05-30 08:23

    Patti Smith gençliğime fon müziği olmuş, rafımdaki en değerli albümden gördüğüm bazılarının sahibi, gerçekten değer verdiğim bir müzisyendir. Lise yıllarımda sabah okula 'Because the Night', 'People have the Power', 'Gone Again' gibi şarkıları söyleyerek girerken, akşam çıkışa değin ağzım kendini Alanis Morissette, Björk, Tori Amos gibi görece daha kişisel müzisyenlere bırakırdı. Çünkü uzun süreli münasebet esnasında yorardı beni Patti. Pj Harvey ile birlikte çoğu zaman genç bünyeme ağır gelirdi ve sanki bazı yerlerde biraz zorlama mı müzik yapıyorlar diye düşünüp, sırtımı dönerdim bu ikisine. 'Hayalperestler' beni o yıllara götürdü. Üzgünüm ama sanki biraz zorla mı yazdın Patti? Bir 'Wave' durumu var sanki bu kitapta? Gerçi önsözde bahsetmişsin; ilk kitabın olan bu metni yazarken, çok amatör ve toy olduğundan. Yine de 'Çoluk Çocuk' ve 'M Treni'ni yazmış, yüce ozan Patti elinden kötü bir şey çıkmaz diye üzerine atlamıştım. Yanılmışım. Bu minik kitapta Patti kendi ekseninden çıkmışsın ve bir edebiyatçı gibi yazma gayretine girmişsin; buna istinaden de eser '-miş gibi' cümlelerle dolmuş taşmış.Halbuki 'Glitter in their eyes' desem, 'Mother rose' desem... Güzel dizeleri sesinden dinlesem, bana yetermiş. 5/10

  • Andrei Cioată
    2019-06-03 03:10

    Încă nu pot să cred cât de profundă a fost această carte. Cât de lirică. Cât de sensibilă și frumoasă. Doamne! Una dintre cele mai bune! :)

  • Barbara
    2019-06-04 10:08

    This new edition was published in 2011. It just came to my attention when knittingtastic, a UK person working in knitting technical editing, posted book on her Instagram feed. I immediately ordered it. As a knitter and Patti Smith fan, I was intrigued. While this book is mostly poems, it also included essays. My favorite essay was her story of her dog Bambi, her constant companion when she was young. It was sad, though not tragic.The cover "Shepherdess with Her Flock", a painting by Millet, may appear to only have a fleeting relationship with the book, because of its title. It turns out the Patti's ancestors in Norfolk, England were sheep herders. Writing of her great grandmother, who disliked her, Smith states:"She was descended from a long line of Norfolk farmers and solitary shepherds. Her blood contained them and so commingled with mine. I was conscious, even as she slighted me, that through her I possessed the soul of a shepherdess. Through her I was drawn to the dreamers' life and I imagined tending a flock, gathering wool in a leather pouch, and contemplating the color of clouds." And of course this entire small book is an exercise in woolgathering, defined as indulgence in aimless thought or dreamy imagining (Oxford Dictionary). Recommended to Patti Smith fans, as well as readers who love sheep and wool.

  • Özlem Güzelharcan
    2019-06-13 07:03

    Samimi metnin, güzel fotoğrafların, harikulade baskının ve Patti Smith'in hatrına iki yıldız..

  • Christine
    2019-06-13 03:28

    This is an exquisite book. It's short enough to read in an hour or two and flows between prose and verse. Some excerpts:p16How wide the world is. How high. And the stuff of the mind - charged, poofs and scatters like seed and fluff. For such is the tooth of the lion. That it bares and bursts into wishes.p68The Lord gives us wingsHe gives us a stomachwe can fly or vomitturn ourselves into gloryturn upon the waterdraw a cup of bittersturn ourselves inside outand a sum of uswill flickerjust a bit of dust, hardly noticedbut fills the air with a substance.The immortal dream...

  • Patricia Kaiser
    2019-06-01 04:03

    Dieses Büchlein enthält Erinnerungen an Patti Smiths Kindheit, die interessant und sprachlich schön zu lesen sind. Nachdem ich erst diese Woche "M Train" gelesen habe, muss ich aber auch sagen, dass diese Sammlung kurzer Texte nicht mit ihrem Roman mithalten kann.

  • Idilik
    2019-06-18 11:23

    Ingilizce okusaydim belki 3'ten fazla alirdi ama turkce olmadi. Emeklerin ve guzel basimin hatrina 3 yildiz

  • Züleyha
    2019-06-02 10:06

    Asla rafa kaldıramayacağınız kitaplardan.

  • Camille
    2019-06-11 10:18

    Si vous n'avez pas encore vu le documentaire d'Agnès Varda (je crois) sur le glanage, c'est exactement ce que vous devriez faire ce week end ; de toutes façons il fait moche dehors. Et puis ça vous donnera envie de ramasser des betteraves et des pommes de terre biscornues sur le bord des routes, ou alors de fouiller les poubelles du supermarché d'en face, ou peut-être de suivre la démarche de Patti Smith dans Glaneurs de rêves, et d'écrire une petite collection de textes, fragments de souvenirs, descriptions du quotidien, ce qui peut être une activité encore plus ludique que le tricot ou le macramé.Dans l'avant-dernier texte du livre, "Envol", l'auteure donne une belle définition du glanage d'images oniriques : "J'ai écrit, j'ai dessiné, ou je les ai laissés s'envoler. Sans autre dessein que l'acte même d'atterrir dans les orties et d'être ramassés par un glaneur plein de compassion pour l'infime". C'est cette recherche de l'infime, de l'insignifiant dans le quotidien, qui est théoriquement l'objet du recueil ; mais dans les faits, je pense que Patti Smith passe complètement à côté. La collection commence plutôt bien, avec des fragments oniriques que j'ai beaucoup aimés. On y sent la campagne et l'Amérique profonde, comme dans ce joli texte sur le cow-boy :"Détendu, sous le ciel, il médite sur tout et rien. La nature du travail. La nature de l'oisiveté et le ciel lui-même avec ses masses qui se gonflent si près qu'on pourrait attraper un nuage au lasso pour y poser sa tête ou s'en remplir le ventre. Saucer les haricots et la sauce brune avec un morceau de viande de nuage, et s'allonger pour une petite sieste."Et puis, très rapidement, la métaphore devient systématique, et le quotidien trivial. Je ne vais pas vous chercher une citation parce que ça me fatigue, mais ça pourrait donner quelque chose comme : "J'ai égalisé ma frange avec des ciseaux rouillés, parce qu'elle n'était pas égale. J'ai sorti les cookies du four et j'en ai mangé un dans mon bain. Les miettes étaient de petits bateaux dans l'iceberg de la mousse, avant de sombrer." (Si vous croyez que j'exagère, franchement, ouvrez le recueil au milieu et vous me direz).N'est pas Rimbaud qui veut. Est encore moins Rimbaud celle qui voudrait tant l'être, qui le cite à tout bout de champ, qui a sa photo sur sa table de travail et qui prend sa photo de Rimbaud en photo pour la coller fièrement dans son recueil de textes banals, entre un instantané de son mari et un autre qui représente des formes pour les chaussures. Les lecteurs accusent parfois Patti Smith de name-dropping, ce n'est pas un aspect qui m'avait dérangé dans Kids parce que je le trouvais justifié alors. Mais là, franchement, elle a juste écrit une préface pour expliquer qu'elle a changé le numéro de son livre édité parce que William Burroughs préférait avoir son numéro pour son bouquin. Et comme dirait mon petit frère, lui aussi grand littérateur : osef.Une lecture inégale que je termine plutôt déçue.

  • Joanka
    2019-06-07 09:01

    I'm not a specialist when it comes to poetry. I use a very simplified key to evaluate it for myself - if it moves me, I like it, if it doesn't, I forget about it the moment I finish the last line. The situation with poetic prose is very similar in my case. If I catch myself formulating thoughts (subconsciously) in a way the text of the book was written, if it plays again and again in my brain - I'm enchanted. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the tiny book by Patti Smith. There are a few pretty images, some glimpses of atmosphere I would like in a book but otherwise it was so... bland. As if Smith had really nothing to say, but was asked to write a book for a deadline so she did. To me it felt so trivial and naive that I guess this poor stereotypical teenager who writes bad poems could write something better. Maybe it's just not my kind of poetics. But I can't recommend it to anyone.

  • Andrea Paterson
    2019-06-10 06:29

    I couldn't get into this book. While it was about childhood it lacked wonder somehow. The poetry slipped often into the world of dreams and I wanted to be overcome there by shimmering images, but it never happened. The idea of the Woolgatherers, small people collecting tufts of wool from the brambles in the dead of night, was alluring, but the idea didn't take flight. I think its possible that another person will love this book, but sadly I did not and was a bit disappointed.

  • Papatya ŞENOL
    2019-06-13 07:17

    "çoluk çocuk"u okuduktan sonra bir heves "hayalperestler"i almıştım; ancak büyük bir hayal kırıklığıyla karşılaştım. birbirinden kopuk bölümler patti'nin çocukluk anılarına odaklanıyor. şairane pasajlar içerse de bütün olarak "çok da gerek yokmuş" hissi uyandırıyor. güzel bir kapak ve çeşitli görsellerle çekici hale getirilmiş, o ayrı.

  • Mckinley
    2019-06-24 06:24

    Woolgathering contains some of the most poetic prose I've ever read. It's like a magic carpet ride through Smith's memories & impressions...a Van Gogh painted with words. If you do not have imagination , don't read it! I envy & admire the freedom with which Smith uses language . This read is magic...true poetry ...true art.

  • Aviendha
    2019-06-02 03:19

    Bir anı kitabı olarak, kurgusuz işleyiş ve birbirini tamamlamayan akışa sahip. Bir kaç anekdot dışında anlatımı etkileyici bulmadım.

  • Beyza
    2019-06-01 04:11

    Patti Smith'in uzun bir gecede gördüğü uzun bir rüyanın dökümü gibi. Karmaşık ama etkileyici.

  • Patricia
    2019-06-10 03:16

    Mostly lovely memory and fantasy yarn by Patti Smith, musician and poet. This was a Christmas gift from my daughter Rima, and a quick read at an opportune time.

  • Elenapetulia
    2019-06-25 03:30

    Questo libro e' l'eccezione che conferma la regola della perfezione di Patti Smith sia quando scrive sia quando canta.

  • Frederik
    2019-05-28 07:31

    Bonne introduction aux pensées poétiques et vivantes de Patti Smith, mais pas au même niveau des classiques modernes comme M-train et Just Kids.

  • Dominic DiCenzo
    2019-05-26 08:23

    Rather interesting....

  • Adam Shand
    2019-06-08 06:16

    Another random library discovery. Initially I was mostly curious if it was in fact "that Patti Smith", and yes, it is Patti Smith of punk music fame. A really beautiful collection of poetic stories mixed with matching photographs. Mostly from her childhood but some from her travels in India and France.She introduces the stories with: "Everything contained in this little book is true, and written just like it was. 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".A few snippets that I liked.From "A Bidding" ..I imagined a lot of things. That I would shine. That I'd be good. I'd dwell bareheaded on a summit turning a wheel that would turn the earth and undetected, amongst the clouds, I would have some influence; be of some avail.From "Nineteen Fifty-Seven" ...His name was Harry Riel, a good name for a detective, but he seemed more shaman than detective. He would sit, in all weathers, in the dry patch in front of his slightly tilted house, with black shingles that made it look two-dimensional. He sat next to painted orange crates and sold bait, mostly minnows and worms. I never saw him anywhere else and only saw him get up once and enter his black shape of a shack and seemingly disappear.His wife had died in 1947 and he buried her in their yard. This seemed to me an ultimate expression of being free; to be able to choose where to bury someone you love. I imagined he was sitting here, not only to sell bait, but as her guardian. He watched over her and because she was near to him, he was also near to her.From "Millet" ...As fate devised, I pursued a path far afield from my ancestors, yet their ways are also mine. And in my travels when I see a hill dotted with sheep or a staff lying among the chestnut leaves, I am moved by a sense of longing to be again what I was not.

  • Colleen O'Neill Conlan
    2019-06-22 11:05

    I read this little book in one sitting, on my ferry commute to work. I like this because it was written when she was living in Detroit with her husband and children, a retreat from public life and public work, but certainly not from her art (visual, poetic, musical, and otherwise). Yes, it's different from her music/lyric compositions, and it's different from the more straightforward-but still magical-memoir she wrote of her early artistic life with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids. This one has moments that seem almost stream of consciousness channeling, and others where the narrative is almost beside the point, where the language and the imagery are key.I especially love her reminiscences about her childhood with her siblings. If you've read other Patti Smith books (like Complete), you already know how they are a deep part of her core. Woolgathering reprints the lyrics of one of her songs, Kimberly. Only here, we get the backstory and see the kernel of the song, before it was a song. I also love the photographs, although I don't see the connection between the pic of Johnny Depp's desk and the accompanying text. It's a mystery I don't mind pondering. I love Patti Smith. I think of her as a pure, unvarnished American artist, so I'm admittedly biased. This is the kind of book I would pick up and read again and again, in smaller morsels this time, like I would a favorite book of poems.

  • Jaime (Twisting the Lens)
    2019-05-25 11:16

    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._________________________________For the full review, please visit

  • Bruce
    2019-06-25 07:22

    Smith remembers her childhood and her childhood fantasies in New Jersey. One of those fantasies were of the people she could hear, but never see in an empty field she passed on long leisurely walks with her brother and sister. She thought of them as “the woolgatherers.” I believed they were there, the people. I could hear them, now and then, murmuring and whistling as if behind a wall of cotton. I could hear them, but I could never make out the language they were speaking nor the melodies they were weaving. Daydreaming, she aspired to be one of them. In this slim book of reminisces, she moves effortlessly from prose poems to verse to prose, and from subjectivity to objectivity. This new expanded edition is illustrated with photographs, some by Smith, and some by other photographers, including family snapshots.

  • M. Sarki
    2019-05-25 06:25

    Patti Smith is a talent beyond measure. Woolgathering is obviously an early work but it is evident that she could write, that she certainly possessed rhythm, and she was seriously engaged in life and all it had to offer her. There are some chapters miles above others in their quality, but the book as a whole did read as a prose poem and I found it more personal than artistic. Deserving of only three stars in respect to literary technique, I instead gave this book the instructive four because "I really liked it" and that meets the standard allowed for in the goodreads value system. All praise to Patti Smith and New Directions for publishing a very nice cloth-board edition of this earlier work.

  • Ullalin
    2019-06-12 07:29

    Ihastuttava pieni kirja. Helmi.

  • Toolshed
    2019-05-31 09:13

    I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this. It's compact, it's dreamy, it's sketchy (just as one would expect memories of childhood to be) and yet Smith managed to imbue the whole book with a poetic quality which is entirely her own. Innocent, almost naive reminiscences about childhood alternate with dreamlike excursions into the mind space of a young girl striving to find something more in life. Dripping with emotion.