Punk rock poet laureate

Patti Lee Smith (Patti Lee Smith, 1946— ), an American female poet, singer, and performance artist, began to write poetry in the late 1960s, and wrote Seventh Heaven, Horses, “Easter” (Easter), “Cowboy Mouth” (Cowboy Mouth) and many other anthologies and plays. The 1970s was the golden age of his poetry creation. Although Smith made her debut by reciting poems with live music and actively participated in the “second revival” of American rock music in the 1970s. He is the first of its kind in poetry and enjoys a high reputation in the American contemporary literary circle. As Smith lamented looking back: “Most of my poetry is about women, because women inspire me the most. Who are most artists? Men. Who do they get their inspiration from? Women. I Inner masculinity inspired by women.”
punk movement

  The punk movement is a youth cultural movement that emerged in the United Kingdom and the United States around the 1970s. Its main form is punk rock music, which is characterized by “three minutes and three chords”. It doesn’t pay much attention to musical skills, but focuses on ideological emancipation and a sharp stand against the mainstream. In fact, it “uses simple music to elevate their blatant rebellious behavior to a philosophical level, under the theory of subjective initiative and negation of negation.” Created a distorted sense of responsibility and marginal culture”. The punk movement has greatly changed the political, economic, cultural and people’s ideological conditions in Britain and the United States. It has also received a large number of young people’s responses in many Western countries, and its development momentum was once extremely rapid. For example, in the mid-to-late 1970s, the number of punks in London alone reached 100,000, and it quickly spread to all parts of the world. Since the new century, punk music, punk culture, and punk youth are still active, and punk has become one of the important genres of the global youth subculture. The “Encyclopedia of American Counterculture” records that punk is still closely related to the social youth movement in the United States, and the revival of punk is also a manifestation of the counterculture movement. Canadian scholar Deborah Kennedy even believes that, “to be fair, punk has never been as mainstream as it is today.”
  In the 1970s, punk music was mainly based on three chords, and the repetition emphasized the originality of music, simplicity and roughness, and opposed innovation and experimentation. Punk lyrics are always very aggressive and mostly expressed directly. Other punk-style behaviors are also mostly direct and rough, not seeking refinement, only caring about strength, highly critical and destructive, and once attracted widespread attention from the society. After the initial explosive rise of British punk, it has increasingly fallen into the quagmire of commercialization and has become synonymous with “fashion”. In contrast, American punk has a slightly lighter political color. It opposes commercial rock in music, avoids barbaric catharsis, and emphasizes the richness and reality of expression content, thus creating a refined and poetic punk fashion trend. Representatives of American punk include The Ramones, Black Flag, Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana, etc. Among them, the rock poet Patti Smith is definitely A striking icon, her album Horses inspired British punk bands The Sex Pistols and Clash, and her UK tour set off wave after wave of punk. Thus established her unshakable “Punk Godmother” status in the British and American punk movements.
female roles in rock

  Dick Hebdige, a young scholar of the Birmingham School in the United Kingdom, conducted a timely investigation of the punk movement that had just emerged at that time. In his book “Subculture: The Meaning of Style” (1979), Hebdige revealed the rock and roll that emerged from the punk trend. development dilemma. As glam rock artists showed morbid self-proclaimed psychology such as extreme affectation and elite mentality, a large number of rock fans were lost. “Punk aesthetics is established in the widening gap between artists and audiences, and can be interpreted as an attempt to expose the inherent contradictions of glam rock.” At the same time, influenced by the rapid development of the Western feminist movement, Birmingham School female scholars In her masterpiece “Postmodernism and Popular Culture”, Angela Mocrobie sharply points out the neglect and discrimination of women groups in cultural studies. In her view, it is necessary and urgent to introduce a gender perspective into the cultural field, especially the female roles in hippies and punk movements. Because for working-class women, the punk and reggae subcultures also “provided an outlet from the constraints of class.”
  As we all know, one of the top ten international hot spots in 2016 is the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to American rock star Bob Dylan. The public generally believes that this event shows that the literary value of rock music has finally been recognized by the world’s highest literary hall. Since the 1960s, many of Dylan’s classic music works have been world-renowned and have been sung ever since; since the mid-1970s, many authoritative American literary histories have included his representative songs one after another. However, looking around the world, female rock poets are rare in the music scene, and even rarer in the literary history of various countries. Although rock used to be a world dominated by men, it was never only men who were active in it, and a large number of female rockers participated in it, adding luster to the contemporary rock picture. Representatives include Siouxsie Sioux from Britain, Joni Mitchell from Canada, Susan Vega and Tracy Chapman from the United States. , Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and more. Most of them are eye-catching by their appearance, voice or dance, and their artistic careers are mostly concentrated in their youth. Only Patti Smith is known for her original poetry, punk-spirited personalities, rock-star performances, and lifelong writing. She once said in an interview with “Rolling Stone” magazine: “As an artist, I don’t feel any gender restrictions at all. When I perform, I feel beyond myself. I don’t mean that I feel like a man or a woman. Feminine, or both. I can’t put into words how I feel.” It goes to show that gender labels once severely constrained perceptions of her identity and her art. According to Al Spicer, author of The Rough Guide to Punk (2009), Smith “redefined the role of women in rock and roll solely on her own.” Xiao Fuxing, a well-known Chinese music critic, believes that in the rock music scene in the 1970s, Patti Smith relied on her poetic language, rebellious posture, and wild performance style like a whirlwind of punk, “from a female perspective, a female consciousness, and a female spirit.” Life experience has injected fresh blood into traditional rock and roll”, so her rock and roll poems have female consciousness and cultural significance. Smith’s biographer Victor Berkress

Patti Smith’s Road to Punk

  In view of the fact that punk culture and punk rock are generally centered on the United Kingdom in the academic circles, Andy Bennett, a British pop music culture researcher, thinks after looking at the development of punk in a broad sense, “From the mid-1960s on the stage of American garage bands, punk From its origins in the United Kingdom, through its refinement and stylistic revisions in England, until it became a global youth culture”. On this basis, the author finds that the CBGB (rock club/bar), the iconic scene of New York’s underground scene in the mid-1970s in China, especially Patti Smith, the American “godmother of punk” who became popular in CBGB, played an important role in the punk movement. Insufficient understanding of its important position in the history of development. Punk was “notorious” before Smith took the stage, and “became famous” after she sang. Smith has personal feelings about this. She said: “When I was a child, punk was an extremely negative word…now it has become full of wisdom and philosophy.” This makes people think: how punk is “whitewashed” of? What role did Smith play in this process?
  Smith walked out of a working family in New Jersey in the 1960s and became a “New York drifter”, experiencing the hardships and hardships of life. Due to her love of painting, poetry, and art design, and her persistent pursuit of the life ideal of “being true to myself”, she has grown from an ordinary fan of many male poets and rock stars to a rock poetess who insists on writing and singing poetry . When the influence of the British punk wave reached New York, encouraged by friends, Smith took the stage and became the only female singer-songwriter in the punk music scene. Her unique neutral temperament has been artistically presented by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, a soul friend who has lived together for 7 years, which has given her an exposure that ordinary people cannot match. Mapplethorpe has a unique artistic aesthetic and superb photography skills. The album cover photo of “Horses” he designed and packaged with black and white photography as the main body is “one of the most recognizable images in rock history”. Smith used his unique voice to sing poetically in the roaring music, freeing between the delicacy of women and the strength of men, all of which were keenly captured by Mapplethorpe under the lens and successfully shaped Smith’s A strong, confident, and outstanding female image is favored by punk youths; Smith’s thin, pale, neutral, and clean image opened up the American punk fashion, and has since been established by the British punk godmother Vivienne Westwood. The iconic clothing of the punk family designed – dirty clothes, ragged pants and cockscombs – is in stark contrast. After that, she successively released three albums, “Ethiopian Radio”, “Easter” and “Waves”, and toured with her band in Europe and America. In 1978, the single “Because the Night” (Because the Night), which she co-created with singer Bruce Sperlingstein, entered the top 20 of the pop chart that year. High on the pop charts.
  Smith may not be the most dazzling star in the history of rock and roll where superstars gather and talents emerge in large numbers, but she was a key figure in the fuse when rock and roll developed to the punk style in the 1970s. As a singer and poet active on the European and American stages at that time, her music works boldly broke through the stereotypes of music performance, singing freely, and at the same time possessed the charm of poetry, just like New York punk mentor Lou Reed and rock poet laureate Bob The essence of Dylan. For more than 40 years, a large number of her songs, poems, and art exhibitions have received media attention. Taking the album “Horses” as an example, it is not difficult to find that she is a mixture of contradictions, with a gentle and sensitive personality and explosive live performance. When reading Smith’s poems, one cannot leave her rock scene. Similarly, one cannot ignore the poetry in her lyrics when listening to her rock music. After watching Smith’s live performance, music critic Zhang Tiezhi firmly believed that “Smith is a poet first, and then a rock musician”. In terms of conception, the album’s high-density verses carry magnificent, weird and sometimes dark and mysterious images. It belongs to the rock music of Rimbaud (19th century French symbolist poet) and Blake (18th-19th century British romantic poet). Some critics commented on “Horses” like a poem review: “This album combines the grandeur of rock and roll with the meticulous elegance of a poet. Patty is a legendary woman with multiple identities of poet, feminist, and rock artist. Its music concept wanders between the extremes of extreme feminism and weak woman’s self-abandonment and aggressive punk struggle posture.” This is exactly the punk spiritual core in Smith’s poetry performance. Her lyrics touch on sensitive issues such as religious belief, lesbianism, suicide and alien objects, and her voice sounds “hard and prickly”, as in the lyrics “Jesus Christ died for some people’s sins, but not mine Wrong” directly reflects her maverick and free spirit.

patti smith concert

  Unlike the British punk pioneers who endowed punk with a firm political stance and fashionable and rebellious attire, American rockers represented by Patti Smith added poetry to punk, endowing it with profound ideological connotation and meaningful artistic character. Smith’s rock poetry is closely related to the pulse of the times. It is magnificent and has a unique neutral temperament. It is never limited to female subjects. It pays extensive attention to major issues related to religion, thought, environment, politics, humanities and other fields in the development of human society. Challenging the system, using the poetic language with the color of Blake and Rimbaud and the hearty rock performance, it broadens people’s rock aesthetic vision.

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