Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

100 Thought-Provoking Patti Smith Quotes To Guide You Through Life

Famous As: Known for Her Hit Single “Because the Night”
Born On: December 30, 1946
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Age: 75 Years

Patricia Lee “Patti Smith” is a singer-songwriter, visual artist, activist and poet. She released her debut album ‘Horses’ in 1975. She has a very distinctive sound, which can be placed within the punk rock genre of music. Her songs are strongly driven by the lyrics, and often feature spoken poetry. She has fused poetry and music to create a unique art form - an effective modern means of self expression and protest. Her interests are varied and span across art, music, literature and photography. She has cited William Blake and Arthur Rimbaud as influences. Her albums often feature experimental or avant-garde elements. Her lyrics have often bore politically oriented content and feature social commentary. She is also an active performance artist. She has collaborated with musicians like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Patti Smith is a unique phenomenon, combining poetry with music, which is youthful in form and content. She has always engaged with several social issues. Few people can claim to have lived a life as interesting as Patti Smith. She definitely knows a thing or two about sailing this world wisely with style and grace. We have collected some of Patti Smith's quotes from her writings, poetry, songs, general observations and life. Here’s just a taste of her badass wisdom through her profound quotes.

No one expected me. Everything awaited me.

No one expected me. Everything awaited me.

Patti Smith
Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.

Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.

Patti Smith
I don't fuck much with the past but I fuck plenty with the future.

I don't fuck much with the past but I fuck plenty with the future.

Patti Smith
Freedom is...the right to write the wrong words.

Freedom is...the right to write the wrong words.

Patti Smith
I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth

I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth

Patti Smith
I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.

I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.

Patti Smith
What will happen to us?

What will happen to us?" I asked. "There will always be us," he answered.

Patti Smith
Everything distracted me, but most of all myself.

Everything distracted me, but most of all myself.

Patti Smith
I refuse to believe that Hendrix had the last possessed hand,
that Joplin had the last drunken throat,
that Morrison had the last enlightened mind.

I refuse to believe that Hendrix had the last possessed hand, that Joplin had the last drunken throat, that Morrison had the last enlightened mind.

Patti Smith
Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

Patti Smith
I have loved books all my life. There is nothing more beautiful in our material world than the book.

I have loved books all my life. There is nothing more beautiful in our material world than the book.

Patti Smith
I don't think,

I don't think," he insisted. "I feel.

Patti Smith
Who can know the heart of youth but youth itself?

Who can know the heart of youth but youth itself?

Patti Smith
So my last image was as the first. A sleeping youth cloaked in light, who opened his eyes with a smile of recognition for someone who had never been a stranger.

So my last image was as the first. A sleeping youth cloaked in light, who opened his eyes with a smile of recognition for someone who had never been a stranger.

Patti Smith
Make your interactions with people transformational, not just transactional.

Make your interactions with people transformational, not just transactional.

Patti Smith
We went our separate ways, but within walking distance of one another.

We went our separate ways, but within walking distance of one another.

Patti Smith
I immersed myself in books and rock 'n' roll, the adolescent salvation ...

I immersed myself in books and rock 'n' roll, the adolescent salvation ...

Patti Smith
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. For nothing is more precious than the life force and may the love of that force guide you as you go.

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. For nothing is more precious than the life force and may the love of that force guide you as you go.

Patti Smith
I had no proof that I had the stuff to be an artist, though I hungered to be one.

I had no proof that I had the stuff to be an artist, though I hungered to be one.

Patti Smith
I thought to myself that he contained a whole universe that I had yet to know.

I thought to myself that he contained a whole universe that I had yet to know.

Patti Smith
Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply.

Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply.

Patti Smith
We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.

We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.

Patti Smith
Both of them were ahead of their time, but they didn't live long enough to see the time they were ahead of.

Both of them were ahead of their time, but they didn't live long enough to see the time they were ahead of.

Patti Smith
I understood that in this small space of time we had mutually surrendered our loneliness and replaced it with trust.

I understood that in this small space of time we had mutually surrendered our loneliness and replaced it with trust.

Patti Smith
Later he would say that the Church led him to God, and LSD led him to universe. He also said that art led him to the devil, and sex kept him with the devil.

Later he would say that the Church led him to God, and LSD led him to universe. He also said that art led him to the devil, and sex kept him with the devil.

Patti Smith
Finally, by the sea, where God is everywhere, I gradually calmed.

Finally, by the sea, where God is everywhere, I gradually calmed.

Patti Smith
Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

Patti Smith
We were as Hansel and Gretel and we ventured out into the black forest of the world.

We were as Hansel and Gretel and we ventured out into the black forest of the world.

Patti Smith
Writing is not some quiet, closet act.

Writing is not some quiet, closet act.

Patti Smith
What is the soul? What color is it? I suspected my soul, being mischievous, might slip away while I was dreaming and fail to return. I did my best not to fall asleep, to keep it inside of me where it belonged.

What is the soul? What color is it? I suspected my soul, being mischievous, might slip away while I was dreaming and fail to return. I did my best not to fall asleep, to keep it inside of me where it belonged.

Patti Smith
I wish I could just project everything on the paper,

I wish I could just project everything on the paper,

Patti Smith
Got to lose control before you take control.

Got to lose control before you take control.

Patti Smith
Paths that cross will cross again.

Paths that cross will cross again.

Patti Smith
To be an artist is to enter into competition with god.

To be an artist is to enter into competition with god.

Patti Smith
We never had any children,

We never had any children," he said ruefully. "Our work was our children.

Patti Smith
Within that moment was trust, compassion, and our mutual sense of irony. He was carrying death within him and I was carrying life. We were both aware of that, I know.

Within that moment was trust, compassion, and our mutual sense of irony. He was carrying death within him and I was carrying life. We were both aware of that, I know.

Patti Smith
But secretly I knew I had been transformed, moved by the revalation that human beings create art, that to be an artist was to see what others could not.

But secretly I knew I had been transformed, moved by the revalation that human beings create art, that to be an artist was to see what others could not.

Patti Smith
Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

Patti Smith
We learned we wanted too much. We could only give from the perspective of who we were and what we had. Apart, we were able to see with even greater clarity that we didn’t want to be without each other.

We learned we wanted too much. We could only give from the perspective of who we were and what we had. Apart, we were able to see with even greater clarity that we didn’t want to be without each other.

Patti Smith
Angel looks down at him and says, “Oh, pretty boy, Can't you show me nothing but surrender?

Angel looks down at him and says, “Oh, pretty boy, Can't you show me nothing but surrender?

Patti Smith
I hated the soup and felt little for the can.

I hated the soup and felt little for the can.

Patti Smith
I have vague memories, like impressions on glass plates ...

I have vague memories, like impressions on glass plates ...

Patti Smith
It seemed as if the whole of the world was slowly being stripped of innocence. Or maybe I was seeing a little too clearly.

It seemed as if the whole of the world was slowly being stripped of innocence. Or maybe I was seeing a little too clearly.

Patti Smith
Nothing can be truly replicated. Not a love, not a jewel, not a single line.

Nothing can be truly replicated. Not a love, not a jewel, not a single line.

Patti Smith
In the war of magic and religion, is magic ultimately the victor? Perhaps priest and magician were once one, but the priest, learning humility in the face of God, discarded the spell for prayer.

In the war of magic and religion, is magic ultimately the victor? Perhaps priest and magician were once one, but the priest, learning humility in the face of God, discarded the spell for prayer.

Patti Smith
Vowels are the most illuminated letters in the alphabet. Vowels are the colors and souls of poetry and speech. (1976 Penthouse interview)

Vowels are the most illuminated letters in the alphabet. Vowels are the colors and souls of poetry and speech. (1976 Penthouse interview)

Patti Smith
How is it that we never completely comprehend our love for someone until they’re gone?

How is it that we never completely comprehend our love for someone until they’re gone?

Patti Smith
People have the power to redeem the work of fools.

People have the power to redeem the work of fools.

Patti Smith
He contained, even at an early age, a stirring and the desire to stir.

He contained, even at an early age, a stirring and the desire to stir.

Patti Smith
He took twelve pictures that day.
Within a few days he showed me the contact sheet.

He took twelve pictures that day. Within a few days he showed me the contact sheet. "This one has the magic," he said. When I look at it now, I never see me. I see us.

Patti Smith
I knew if I lived long enough I would be poet laureate of something.

I knew if I lived long enough I would be poet laureate of something.

Patti Smith
To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It's freedom.

To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It's freedom.

Patti Smith
When you hit a wall, just kick it in.

When you hit a wall, just kick it in.

Patti Smith
Robert was concerned with how to make the photograph, and I with how to be the photograph.

Robert was concerned with how to make the photograph, and I with how to be the photograph.

Patti Smith
Anxious for some permanency, I guess I needed to be reminded how temporal permanency is.

Anxious for some permanency, I guess I needed to be reminded how temporal permanency is.

Patti Smith
I preferred an artist who transformed his time, not mirrored it.

I preferred an artist who transformed his time, not mirrored it." - reference to Andy Warhol

Patti Smith
I got over the loss of his desk and chair, but never the desire to produce a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Corts.

I got over the loss of his desk and chair, but never the desire to produce a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Corts.

Patti Smith
Please, no matter how we advance in technology please don't abandon the book-there is nothing in our material world more beautiful than a book.

Please, no matter how we advance in technology please don't abandon the book-there is nothing in our material world more beautiful than a book.

Patti Smith
He wasn't certain whether he was a good or bad person. Whether he was altruistic. Whether he was demonic. But he was certain of one thing. He was an artist. And for that he would never apologize.

He wasn't certain whether he was a good or bad person. Whether he was altruistic. Whether he was demonic. But he was certain of one thing. He was an artist. And for that he would never apologize.

Patti Smith
Holding onto the naive belief that travel will open.

Holding onto the naive belief that travel will open.

Patti Smith
Remember, we are mortal, but poetry is not.

Remember, we are mortal, but poetry is not.

Patti Smith
I knew one day I would stop and he would keep on going, but until then nothing could tear us apart.

I knew one day I would stop and he would keep on going, but until then nothing could tear us apart.

Patti Smith
In time we often become one with those we once failed to understand.

In time we often become one with those we once failed to understand.

Patti Smith
It was like being at an Arabian hoedown with a band of psychedelic hillbillies (p. 171).

It was like being at an Arabian hoedown with a band of psychedelic hillbillies (p. 171).

Patti Smith
I suspected my soul, being mischievous, might slip away while I was dreaming and fail to return.

I suspected my soul, being mischievous, might slip away while I was dreaming and fail to return.

Patti Smith
Not all dreams need to be realized.

Not all dreams need to be realized.

Patti Smith
People say beware, but I don't care. Their words are just rules and regulations to me.

People say beware, but I don't care. Their words are just rules and regulations to me.

Patti Smith
The mind of a child is like a kiss on the forehead — open and disinterested

The mind of a child is like a kiss on the forehead — open and disinterested

Patti Smith
I reflected on the fact that no matter how good I aspired to be, I was never going to achieve perfection

I reflected on the fact that no matter how good I aspired to be, I was never going to achieve perfection

Patti Smith
Just come back, I was thinking. You've been gone long enough. Just come back. I will stop traveling; I will wash your clothes.

Just come back, I was thinking. You've been gone long enough. Just come back. I will stop traveling; I will wash your clothes.

Patti Smith
All I needed for the mind was to be led to new stations. All I needed for the heart was to visit a place of greater storms.

All I needed for the mind was to be led to new stations. All I needed for the heart was to visit a place of greater storms.

Patti Smith
Christ was a man worthy to rebel against, for he was rebellion itself.

Christ was a man worthy to rebel against, for he was rebellion itself.

Patti Smith
The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there.

The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there.

Patti Smith
The Lord gives us wings
He gives us a stomach
we can fly or vomit

The Lord gives us wings He gives us a stomach we can fly or vomit

Patti Smith
I’m sure I could write endlessly about nothing. If only I had nothing to say.

I’m sure I could write endlessly about nothing. If only I had nothing to say.

Patti Smith
For a time Robert protected me, then was dependent on me, and then possessive of me. His transformation was the rose of Genet, and he was pierced deeply by his blooming.

For a time Robert protected me, then was dependent on me, and then possessive of me. His transformation was the rose of Genet, and he was pierced deeply by his blooming.

Patti Smith
I was too curious about the future to look back.

I was too curious about the future to look back.

Patti Smith
When we awoke he greeted me with his crooked smile, and I knew he was my knight.

When we awoke he greeted me with his crooked smile, and I knew he was my knight.

Patti Smith
We would work side by side for hours, in a state of mutual concentration.

We would work side by side for hours, in a state of mutual concentration.

Patti Smith
Smile for me, Patti, as I am smiling for you.

Smile for me, Patti, as I am smiling for you.

Patti Smith
The Chelsea was like a doll’s house in the Twilight Zone, with a hundred rooms, each a small universe.

The Chelsea was like a doll’s house in the Twilight Zone, with a hundred rooms, each a small universe.

Patti Smith
Everything I came up with seemed irreverent or irrelevant.

Everything I came up with seemed irreverent or irrelevant.

Patti Smith
We promised that we'd never leave one another again, until we both knew we were ready to stand on our own. And this vow, through everything we were yet to go through, we kept.

We promised that we'd never leave one another again, until we both knew we were ready to stand on our own. And this vow, through everything we were yet to go through, we kept.

Patti Smith
Somehow I started introducing writing into my drawings, and after a time, the language took over and I started getting very involved with the handwriting and then the look of the handwriting.

Somehow I started introducing writing into my drawings, and after a time, the language took over and I started getting very involved with the handwriting and then the look of the handwriting.

Patti Smith
I knew he didn't love me, but I adored him anyway.

I knew he didn't love me, but I adored him anyway.

Patti Smith
There's always new stuff, that's for sure.

There's always new stuff, that's for sure.

Patti Smith
The dark stone in my heart pulsed quietly, igniting like a coal in a hearth. Who is in my heart? I wondered.

The dark stone in my heart pulsed quietly, igniting like a coal in a hearth. Who is in my heart? I wondered.

Patti Smith
A real prison breakfast

A real prison breakfast" I said. "Yeah, but we are free." And that summed it up.

Patti Smith
I craved honesty, yet found dishonesty in myself. Why commit to art? For self-realization, or for itself? It seemed indulgent to add to the glut unless one offered illumination.

I craved honesty, yet found dishonesty in myself. Why commit to art? For self-realization, or for itself? It seemed indulgent to add to the glut unless one offered illumination.

Patti Smith
A wind picked up and I could feel the sea within it.

A wind picked up and I could feel the sea within it.

Patti Smith
I may not know what is in your mind, but I know how your mind works.

I may not know what is in your mind, but I know how your mind works.

Patti Smith
In my way of thinking, anything is possible. Life is at the bottom of things and belief at the top, while the creative impulse, dwelling in the center, informs all.

In my way of thinking, anything is possible. Life is at the bottom of things and belief at the top, while the creative impulse, dwelling in the center, informs all.

Patti Smith
We seek to stay present, even as the ghosts attempt to draw us away.

We seek to stay present, even as the ghosts attempt to draw us away.

Patti Smith
My great quandary was what coat to wear and which books to bring.

My great quandary was what coat to wear and which books to bring.

Patti Smith
Kristus var en vrdig man att gra uppror mot, fr han var sjlv upproret personifierat.

Kristus var en vrdig man att gra uppror mot, fr han var sjlv upproret personifierat.

Patti Smith
[W]ithout a doubt we sometimes eclipse our own dreams with reality.

[W]ithout a doubt we sometimes eclipse our own dreams with reality.

Patti Smith
Oh, to be reborn within the pages of a book.

Oh, to be reborn within the pages of a book.

Patti Smith
Lost things. They claw through the membranes, attempting to summon our attention through an indecipherable mayday. Words tumble in helpless disorder. The dead speak. We have forgotten how to listen.

Lost things. They claw through the membranes, attempting to summon our attention through an indecipherable mayday. Words tumble in helpless disorder. The dead speak. We have forgotten how to listen.

Patti Smith