Patti Smith

I picked up the new Patti Smith release last week. Patti Smith Land (1975 – 2002) is a two-disc set–the first disc compiles her “greatest hits,” while the second presents a collection of live recordings, demos, and spoken word pieces.

I was with Kelly when I bought it, and his comment on looking at the spine was “Patti Smith Land? Is that a new theme park?” I commented that I’d rather go there than to Dollywood.

I mentioned her spoken-word pieces. One such piece, Notes to the Future, is a long poem, recorded in New York City earlier this year. Smith is at her best on here. The poem is a call to compassionate revolution in the wake of the WTC disaster. Her rhythm and cadence are driving and powerful.

In a week in which I personally have needed to draw inspiration and encouragement from those I love, from those I admire, Smith’s words have moved me deeply. I’ve listened to this track over and again. I hope that in presenting a transcription of the lyrics (done personally, by the way–I couldn’t find them yet elsewhere on the Web), I’ve communicated in some small way the power of this poem.

But, really, you should hear it. Ask me nicely, and I’ll play it for you sometime.

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