Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mar dei coralli” as Want to Read:
Mar dei coralli
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mar dei coralli

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  570 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
In linked pieces Patti Smith tells the story of a man on a journey to see the Southern Cross, who is reflecting on his life and fighting the illness that is consuming him. Metaphoric and dreamy, this tale of transformation arises from Smith's knowledge of Mapplethorpe as a young man and as a mature artist, his close relationship with his patron and friend, Sam Wagstaff, an ...more
Paperback, 90 pages
Published 1996 by Einaudi
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mar dei coralli, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mar dei coralli

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,568)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 29, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a most beautiful book, perfect in its own way, Patti Smith's poetic elegy for her friend, onetime lover and soulmate Robert Mapplethorpe, interspersed with a selection of his photographs, like meditations. As a writer, I'm in awe. The prologue sets the tone and the scene, with Morpheus, 'from a place apart' regarding his charge - 'a young man asleep within the cloth of a voyage, which is turning, ever so slowly, even as the widening skirt of an ecstatic.'
Apr 07, 2016 Freesiab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection of poetry is deeply moving, at times too intimate and every word meaningful. Such a treasure to have a friend like this and such a treasure to the rest of the world that she shares her gift of writing. I look forward to reading more.
Aug 11, 2012 Antonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read "Just Kids", now I need more Patti.

Update: I finished reading "The coral sea" a few days ago. I read it in spanish. I was beautiful and poetic, but hardly a story.
It's not like I expected it to be one, but it surprised me for the best how each chapter was a beautiful piece of art in itself.
You could read them separately and you would still get the most inspired and inspiring images.
I reacomend it as a poetry book, not a follow up to "We were kids" (Pattis Smith's previously released book
Rosemary Nissen-Wade
The title piece, a long prose poem, was written in 1996 after the death of Patti Smith's dear friend, the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. This 2012 reissue includes some other poems for him, and a preface he asked her to write for his book, Flowers.

It's the most exquisite and moving work. The use of language is extraordinary — heightened and unusual, yet at the same time clear and straightforward. A paradox!

There is nothing self-consciously writerly about it; rather she is making art, and doe
Jul 29, 2010 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful.

I think, having recently read Just Kids and knowing a little about her story and Robert's it was even more poignant.

I borrowed this book from the library, but will be buying several copies - one for myself and a few for gifts. Ms. Smith's writing consistently liquefies me.

For example, from The Pedestal (pg. 56) Such tears filled him with revulsion. No one could enter a soul composed of tears, for one would surely drown.

I recommend this without reservation to anyone who enjoy
Kienan Aguado
Aug 12, 2016 Kienan Aguado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful homage to a beautiful man
Jul 24, 2014 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what I was expecting at all. The inside cover claims that "In The Coral Sea Smith beautifully recasts her grief, recapturing Mapplethorpe's life and giving us an evocative portrait of the man who was her friend." Okay...the author claims in the intro that the book was written in "a season in grief" so I was expecting some mournful prose written in a poetic fashion about this beloved artistic friend of hers who had died. What I got...was a strange disjointed story about a man on ...more
Cecilia De Paula
"Soñó. Durmió. No soñó en absoluto. En cambio, se adueñó de él una distante sensación de amor. Un campo de ojos que se mecían y se abrían cual bulbos. Y después nada. Nada en el jardín que llegaba hasta el mar. Salvo una flor de uno de aquellos bulbos. Un tulipán singular. Largo, solo y negro como una mancha en el sol."
Shelley Day Sclater
A moving elegy to a dear friend written after he died and Patti Smith in her grief couldn't cry. It's a long prose poem, lyrical, metaphorical, written I think before 'Just Kids' which was more their auto/biographical story, and which was written in a more direct pared down prose style. The Coral Sea covers some of the same territory but in a very different way. It's more dreamlike and its language and its images are not grounded at all but seem to float. The sheer loveliness of it carries you a ...more
Natasha Tsakiris
A beautiful, lyrical memoir honoring Patti's friend's Robert. Her writing reads like that of a Romantic meets a Modernist. The words are luscious and meaningful.
Kat Masek
Oct 10, 2015 Kat Masek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful set of mythological prose poems about her beloved Robert Mapplethorpe's death that have me feeling closer to Patti Smith than before. The fact that they feel just beyond my understanding, or reach, makes me want to keep them near me and to keep reading them. I have read and loved Just Kids and am reading Patti Smith's poetry. Her memoir Woolgathering was so lovely. I know much, but not all, of her music. She has a new way of feeling in words for me, and I want to understand it more d ...more
Jill Goldstein
Feb 04, 2016 Jill Goldstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since 'Just Kids', I have fallen in love with Patti Smiths writing style, language and scattered thinking. This book in particular, is quite lush in language. After reading the forward, my heart broke as I could almost feel the pain that she was in while writing this. Her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe was clearly a special one. A poem in prose, The Coral Sea, is a creative description of a love lost, a missing soul, an artistic partner no longer here. Pour a cup of coffee, curl up in ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Bblaire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
revealing and meaningful... beautiful patti
Patti is a poet.
Dec 03, 2015 Drew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Smith wrote "Just Kids" for Robert Mapplethorpe AND us (and I truly thank her for doing so). But she probably wrote "The Coral Sea," a highbrow memento mori companion piece, primarily for herself. Intended, perhaps, as a poetic liturgy, for me it read like the florid work of an introspective poseur who'd recently binged on Jean Genet. I don't begrudge her writing it; that someone would publish it was inevitable; but I could've done without reading it.
Stephen Ian Savage
A beautiful abstract, personal elegy by Patti Smith for her very close friend Robert Mapplethorpe. An interesting combination of prose and poetry (prosetry) winds Smith's sadness at losing a friend, Mapplethorpe's struggle for artistic perfection, and a sublime, romantic sentiment into a interesting exploration of artistry, the self, and the other.
Dec 28, 2014 Benja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Coral Sea is Patty Smith's poetic elegy for her friend Robert Mapplethorpe, who "was destined to be ill, and part of him knew it (...) So he fled into the bowels of tedium disguised as adventure". Smith imagines him as "M", inhabiting an ocean-liner and searching the skies for the Southern Cross. It's a beautiful, touching memorial.
Patti Smith wrote this before Just Kids. I read them out of order, but I'm not sure it matters. She loved Robert Mappelthorpe and eulogizes him and tells the story of their friendship better than anyone could. Seems like he knew just how well she would when he asked her to tell their story before he died.
Jul 26, 2010 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing Just Kids, I pulled this off my shelf, where it has sat, inexplicably unread, for several years. I had the general idea that is was poetry; little did I know that it is also about Robert Mapplethorpe--a sort of prose poem retelling of his death??? Not sure if that's a good description as I just started it. But the point is I don't know if I can take it, fresh from the heartwrenching of Just Kids. I started crying reading the Prologue. Will try to soldier on, but may have to read ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Beautiful expression of her love and relationship/friendship with Mapplethorpe during and after his death, and a continuation of "Just Kids." Also a true poetic tribute to the artists journey through rough waters. And, highly recommend Just Kids (fantastic). Gotta love Patti. Everything she does is pretty amazing. She is not only a great musician, but she is a genuinely intimate writer, connecting you to the story/characters through beautiful, bare descriptions of life's raw moments that reach t ...more
Katherine Joyce
Jan 31, 2016 Katherine Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful tribute to RM. I love Patti Smith's prose, and this didn't disappoint. I read this in less than an hour, then read it again. If you read and loved Just Kids, read this.
Apr 12, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She performed parts of this with Kevin Shields on guitar. Reading it was great but hearing Patti and Kevin grinds this out into flight.
Jul 12, 2015 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous ode to her fallen friend, Robert Mapplethorpe.
To be fair, it's very different from my preferred poetic style. But still - I'm just not impressed. I'm hesitant to assume that this represents Smith's best, or even typical, work. So maybe I'll read something else by her down the road.

As for the photos, the only one worth anything is of Smith herself, in 1978.

He has leapt through the orphic glass
To wander eternally
In search of perfection
His blue ankles tattooed with stars.

- "Reflecting Robert"

The sea was dense as a Rothko, prosaic, unbroken.
Jul 05, 2016 Cate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
:'( I want to read it again and again
Mar 25, 2015 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful, poetic and mystical.
Paul Bridgwater
Mar 30, 2013 Paul Bridgwater rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the one hand I think it's a fantastic project, and totally in line with Patti Smith's determination to live life as a ongoing sensual and spiritual project. On the other hand, the beat-like instance on infusing a deeper layer of meaning into a self-destructive life style of sex, drugs and art is a bit much. There are some wonderful lines in the book. How's this for a fusion of body and soul:

And all the muscles
Were contracting
And he was emerging
drenched and pink
and vibrant
the skin pulled back
Sophie Barloc
Aug 09, 2014 Sophie Barloc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you can't cry, poetry may be the best way.
Jun 23, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this. You know how it goes... it's one thing to read a poem but another thing to read a whole book of poetry, and still another to read a book of free verse. This one definitely wanted reading as a whole, and fortunately it was a small thing and lent itself to doing so. It wasn't ground-breaking as far as the individual pieces were concerned, but very much all of a piece and held together nicely. Plus it's a very pretty little book, readable in a short sitting, and all its parts worked n ...more
Julie Rylie
lovely. just lovely.

I'm not a big fan of poetry, I actually have a hard time with it (despite some authors) but it's Patti and everybody should read Patti.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 52 53 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Patti Smith 1969-1976
  • Heaven and Other Poems
  • Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography
  • Selected Poems
  • Fair Copy
  • Gasoline
  • A Season in Hell
  • Lee Miller: A Life
  • The Archive
  • Diaries of a Young Poet
  • The Angel of History
  • Poem of the Deep Song
  • Writings and Drawings
  • A Brief History of Time
  • Lee Krasner: A Biography
  • A Selection of Poems
  • The Doors: The Complete Illustrated Lyrics
  • Blackbird and Wolf: Poems
PATTI SMITH is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. She has released twelve albums, including Horses, which has been hailed as one of the top one hundred albums of all time by Rolling Stone.

Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and has been represented by the Robert Miller Ga
More about Patti Smith...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“And the eye became a body, the murky heart of a rose. The sinister shadow of an orchid. Or the indolent poppy balanced behind the ear of Baudelaire.” 1 likes
More quotes…