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Auguries of Innocence

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  897 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Auguries of Innocence is the first book of poetry from Patti Smith in more than a decade. It marks a major accomplishment from a poet and performer who has inscribed her vision of our world in powerful anthems, ballads, and lyrics. In this intimate and searing collection of poems, Smith joins in that great tradition of troubadours, journeymen, wordsmiths, and artists who r ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Ecco
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Adriana Scarpin
Written by a Lake

New Year’s Day. Rain. Two candles light the room where they sleep. She confesses. This is where she weeps. She is the cause of the rain. She could not stop weeping and the sky obliged to follow.

(How is it mapped? What is the refrain? Why must the sky follow?) The heart drops in the center of an inexhaustible lake. How light the heart appears, yet how weighty a thing. A powerful stone carved in the shape of an organ with chambers pumping. How slick a shadow it leaks as its signat
I don't usually write reviews of poetry because it is so subjective. Either you like it or you don't. But I mean c'mon it's Patti Smith. I have always considered Patti more of an artist and a poet than a great singer.She is a great performer but in that venue can be hard to take at times, but she is a brilliant writer, and poet and this small book of poetry is no exception. Beautiful poems and meditations worth reading but from Patti I'd expect no less. 5 biased Patti Smith loving stars. ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
i had to stop reading auguries of innocence by patti smith because it was making me too crazy. she would just be like

what is the heart but a small hand of agonies?


the music of the spheres knew not of what it sang


you have come / the door is open / you will not find me / you will find my love

Douglas Morrison
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I often find reading poetry a blessing and a curse.

The experience is often too intense, or at least far more intense than a novel or even a collection of photographs.

Some of the poems invariably grab you by the throat. Others leave you cold and wondering what the hell was that about? And yet all of them you place an intense amount of energy into for just that moment as you consume the words.

I find I am especially guilty of this with Patti's work. It has both a beauty and intensity that often co
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Like all of Smith’s books, it’s an invitation to her universe of timelessness, poetry, art as religion, and an ongoing dialogue with past poets, writers, and artists.

But this time there’s also our world, which peeks in this books through the poems about Benghazi and Baghdad, racism and the kids as soldiers or kids as victims.

I liked a lot the experimental poem at the end of the book, a stream of consciousness of several pages without a dot, and the personal letter of Smith to her beloved Rimba
––––•(-•The Insomniac Book Hoarder•-
My first time to have read something from Patti Smith (ooh the shock, horror. I know!).

While I do not specifically sought out poetry to read, I was however interested in this, as it was short (tbh). However, as I continued to read on, I was entranced by the writing's fluidity, the calmness yet realistic portrayal of life.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2019
Rounding up from 3.5 stars.

I'm on a Patti kick after reading/listening to Just Kids, so I read this alongside her collection of early works. It's vastly different, and I enjoyed this one much more, at least in terms of content. I'm not going to attempt to write some critical analysis because I don't really know why this is or isn't a good book of poetry, but I enjoyed it, so that's enough for me.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: usa
For good and bad, definitely recognizable as latter-day Patti Smith; the passion is still undiminished, but the writing has become far more cerebral, less free-jazz starshooting. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and the best things here ("Our Jargon Muffles The Drum", "Birds of Iraq", "The Blue Doll") are among the best... anything she's written, at least on paper. Others feel a bit flat. I'm sure I'd change my mind about that if I heard her read them. ...more
Anna (Paperback Tulips)
My problem with poetry is that it's either too simple and straightforward, or overly poetic and metaphorical. Auguries of Innocence definitely felt like the later for me. Poetry is such a personal thing and this collection was simply not for me ...more
Todd Glaeser
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After being a fan since Horses was on vinyl, I don’t find PS’s poetry as vital as I once did. Her recordings and prose seem more exciting to me.
But maybe that just me.
Jul 07, 2021 added it
Shelves: poetry
i’m not sure what to rate this because some of the poems i absolutely adored and some i just stared at. i liked it though
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

This is the first collection of Patti Smith's poetry that I have read, and it was a mixed bag. There were certain, more personal poems, that I absolutely adored and would re-read again and again. Then there were other more political poems that I didn't really feel much of a connection with. I think this is a collection to read a couple of times, as I think I will have a different experience each time. I have heard mixed things about this one, so I am eager to pick up another of her mo
Debra Hale-Shelton
Well-written, moving, serious. Vastly different from her prose that's also well-written, moving and serious. Patti Smith's humanity, kindness and empathy as well as her brilliance are apparent in all of her writing, though -- at least all that I've read. I should reread this book of poetry to understand it better and to appreciate it more. ...more
Geoffrey Deacon
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
He poetry has only matured and deepened over the years.
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
More well-written Blakesian poetry from Patti Smith.
Kienan Aguado
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
God damn.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Konstantin R.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
[rating = C-]
Since becoming a fan of Patti Smith's later albums, I was glad to see she also dabbled in poetry. On getting the book, I was struck by how different the poems were to her style of punk-rock lyrics. This is not to say they were bad, merely to note that Smith tries a sort of Romanticism-American-Contemporary sort of thing that happens to rhyme (though not constantly and with some creative slant/half-rhymes as well). What I liked most was when she would write as if from her own childho
Pamela Scott

I have mixed feelings about these poems. In one hand, they are well written, intelligently structured and contain very good imagery and descriptions. These things would imply an impressive collection of poems. However, I felt a real distance from the poems. I didn’t click or connect with any single poem. I felt the poems, despite the nice words and visuals were very cold and clinical and very detached. The poems left me numb and indifferent. The poems are
Andy Oram
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Because I have read nearly all of Patti Smith's memoirs and loved their poetic style, it would stand to reason that I would enjoy this book of poetry. The equation is a bit different when someone is writing actual poetry rather than an essay suffused with poetic writing. Although the results are uneven, I still celebrate this book.

Certainly, it overflows with a variety of subjects: childhood memories, eulogies, Christian references, commentary of war, artistic and literary figures, and more. Smi
Mary Margaret
I found Smith’s writing style to be mesmerizing and also found it to be unique, which is something I don’t say often.
I don’t know that this is my favorite collection of poems, but I do know that I want to read more of Smith’s work, and that is a positive thing for someone who can be picky about poetry, especially.
3/5 stars.
Julie York
Studies of Innocence

This book was very well-written. Some of the poems in this book was very beautiful, others were aggressive and scary. But I was curious enough to get through this book. The writing was very descriptive and I hope to own this on my bookshelf one of these days. I recommend this book to people who like Patti Smith and the way she writes.
Elena Kaloudis
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book of poetry. Patti Smith combines her love of romantic literary pieces created by authors such as Keats, Byron and Shelley with the rough lifestyle of living in the punk scene of New York in the late 60's. Poems of love, loss and war. This is a necessary read for any poetry lovers. ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Blue doll
going to give me nightmares, for sure
2.5 to 3
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
My first foray into Patti Smith's work and I'm already in love. ...more
Melissa McGowan
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Surprisingly, I like her prose more than her poetry.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, 2020, poetry
nothing too memorable. some were so well structured and passionate, others fell flat. so much talk about god and um idc about those so yeah still unmistakably patti smith but not my fav
João Andrade e Sousa
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This poem read like an angel of god wrote it. Smith's words are nothing short of genius. Poets like Patti Smith only come round once once in a century. ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I love Patti’s writing but I think I prefer her novels, recently finished Just Kids and fell in love.
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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

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“So be we king
or be we bum
the reed still whistles
the heart still hums”
“What is the heart but a small hand of agonies?” 1 likes
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