‘Weaving dreams’: a poetic experience with Patti Smith

weaving dreams It is the second book of the famous rocker patty smith that we analyze in Las Furias Magazine. After having fallen in love with his writing with we were kidswe reach for the shelf and take this beautiful book published eight years earlier.

The first captivated us for its heartfelt and honest account of the beginning of Smith’s artistic career, as well as for its informative value. weaving dreamsnevertheless, captivates by its preciousness and provokes “a vague and curious joy”. Reminding us that the world may or may not lack purpose, but in no case is it exempt from a kind of magic.

weaving dreamsby Patti Smith.

Patti Smith and the art of weaving dreams

In 1991, Patti Smith lived outside of Detroit with her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, and their children., in a house on the shores of Lake Saint Clair. According to the author herself, the domestic and family joys of this time in her life had not deprived her of a certain melancholy. This feeling came to him in the spring of that year, when received a letter from Raymond Foye, the co-founder of Hanuman Books.

Managed from the Chelsea Hotel in New York, this publishing house published small and colorful volumes of illustrious personalities of culture such as Francis Picabia, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, or Bob Dylan, among others. Foye wanted to add Smith’s name to the collection. This proposal brought her out of her gray torpor, and in the autumn of that same year he got down to work.

The result was weaving dreams, a book that could be considered as brief memoirs or short stories, but which is much more. Written in poetic prose, constitutes an authentic work of art, a walk through some of the most precious memories of its authoraccompanied by various photographs from his personal archive.

weaving dreams: a nostalgic work

There I stood guard, alert to the small, which under the watchful eye easily became monstrous and beautiful.

Weaving dreams.

Finding a new book that you love and becomes one of your favorites is a sensation like few others. That happened to me with weaving dreams. Also, I felt the need to spread the virus, and less than a week after I finished reading it, I had already given it away to five people.

And it is about a really nice piece of work, without unnecessary decorations or trifles. A labor of love that turns everyday life into magic. Smith’s words are like untamed climbers, ivy and bluebells in which, here and there, dove-like truths nest, so deep and simple that it is impossible not to empathize with them.

Throughout fourteen chapters, Smith describes a series of defining moments in his life thus far, with nostalgia as the central theme.. Nostalgia for his childhood, above all, and for the places he passed through, seemingly innocuous, but where his outstanding and prolific imagination began to take shape. This fact turns some simple wool collectors into fairy beings, an old fishing bait seller into a kind of prophet, and a field of weeds into a true Neverland.

And nostalgia, too, for the cosmopolitan life that Patti Smith led in New York, when she lived on McDougal Street. The one about the cafes and joints she frequented in Greenwich Village and Manhattan’s SoHofull of musicians, poets and other artists that proliferated during those fierce years 70.

Patti Smith in her New York apartment in the 1960s.  Weaving dreams.
Patti Smith in her New York apartment in the 1960s. Weaving dreams.

Human Bonds: Patti Smith and her family

weaving dreams is dedicated to Grant Smith, the father of the writer. And the presence of this is noted throughout the book, stoic, not prone to praise, but widely loved by his family.

Patti’s mother, Beverly Smith, also plays a major role in the play.. Not surprisingly, she instilled her spirituality in her eldest daughter, teaching her to communicate with God. Despite having become rabidly anti-religious, Smith retains her belief in a higher being, benevolent and merciful, “in constant motion, like liquid stars.” Whether or not the readers share this notion, it is still devastatingly moving, especially seen through the eyes of a girl.

His three little brothers (two girls and a boy) complete the cast of protagonists. The love that unites him to them is transmitted in the pages of the book until it hurts. Especially the one he feels towards Kimberly, her newborn smile and her blue eyes, to which she dedicated a song on her best-known album: Horses.

weaving dreams it has plastic qualities, and its textures and colors are more reminiscent of a collage by Hannah Höch or a box by Joseph Cornell than of a literary work. Using all these materials, Smith weaves a surprisingly uniform, wild, mystical, human cloak… sprinkled with a fine rain of sadness, but vitalist after all..

weaving dreams: Gathering wool

And he wandered among them, through thistles and thorns, with no other task more extraordinary than rescuing a fleeting thought from the comb of the wind, like a tuft of cotton.

Weaving dreams.

Under the original title of woolgathering (wool harvestingin Spanish) was released in 1992 with number 45 of the aforementioned Hanuman Books collection. Despite having been written later, he gave number 46 to Painting and Gunsby William Burroughs, for his fixation with the number 23 and its multiples.

In later years it had several reissues., including one in 2011 by New Directions. This editorial was the same that published the edition of illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud that hooked Patti Smith for life to said poet, when she was just a teenager.

In Spain it was launched in September 2021 and is still easily available (as the small recent hole in my pocket attests). The photo of Patti Smith that appears on her cover is the same one that her father kept in her wallet at the time of her death, which makes it especially poignant and appropriate.

‘Weaving dreams’: a poetic experience with Patti Smith – Las Furias Magazine – Revista Cultural y Feminista