Apr 20, 2021
The Coral Sea
Posted by Patti Smith

Before the National Book Award winning Just Kids, Patti Smith addressed the life and passing of her intimate friend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.Through the linked pieces of The Coral Sea, Patti Smith honors her comrade in arms Robert Mapplethorpe 1946 1989 She tells the story of a man on an ocean journey to see the Southern Cross, who is reflecting on his life andBefore the National Book Award winning Just Kids, Patti Smith addressed the life and passing of her intimate friend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.Through the linked pieces of The Coral Sea, Patti Smith honors her comrade in arms Robert Mapplethorpe 1946 1989 She tells the story of a man on an ocean 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 from a young man to a mature artist his close relationship with patron and friend, Sam Wagstaff his years surviving AIDS and his ascent into death The Coral Sea is Smith s lyrically compelling recasting of her grief to recapture Mapplethorpe s life in the past and his future in his art Rich in evocative details, it shows the man beneath the persona.

  • Title: The Coral Sea
  • Author: Patti Smith
  • ISBN: 9780393341355
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Coral Sea Before the National Book Award winning Just Kids Patti Smith addressed the life and passing of her intimate friend photographer Robert Mapplethorpe Through the linked pieces of The Coral Sea Patti


    When he passed away I could not weep so I wrote Then I took the pages and set them away Here are those pages, my farewell to my friend, my adventure, my unfettered joy.A reflection on the life of her friend Robert Mapplethorpe, written in poetic prose by the great Patti Smith, one of the most diversely talented women in the world today.


    Review to come.


    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.


    I read Just Kids , now I need 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 on her relati [...]


    Absolutely beautiful.I think, having recently read Just Kids and knowing a little about her story and Robert s it was even 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 enjoys words that [...]


    What a touching way to cope with the parting of a beloved person If I knew about the Mapplethorpe s background, I think I would understand some of the references better but still, those were some amazing prose poems Everyone who reads this, I presume, secretly wishes that they will lead such a life, and that they will touch other people s lives in such a way, that they will one day become the subjects of a similarly moving and sensitive literary homage.


    World enraptured, most disconsolate prose poems.


    There is no arguing with the fact that Patti Smith can write beautifully The Coral Sea was a wonderful observation of grief and sickness, but some parts just went over my head It really is an amazing piece of art, I just didn t understand all of it.

    Cheryl Mcenaney

    Exceptionally beautiful.

    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 does so by [...]

    Cecilia De Paula

    So Durmi No so en absoluto En cambio, se adue de l una distante sensaci n de amor Un campo de ojos que se mec an y se abr an cual bulbos Y despu s nada Nada en el jard n que llegaba hasta el mar Salvo una flor de uno de aquellos bulbos Un tulip n singular Largo, solo y negro como una mancha en el sol.

    Freesiab (Bookish Review)

    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 .


    Patti is a poet.


    revealing and meaningful beautiful patti

    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.

    Kienan Aguado

    A beautiful homage to a beautiful man


    Something that I love about reading any work of Patti Smith s that brings up Robert is that no matter how central Robert is to the narrative, Patti Smith never feels like the author who writes about Robert Mapplethorpe, or Mapplethorpe s biographer It s just Patti writing about a friend And oh, how she loves him.I ve read Just Kids twice, so I m aware of Patti and Robert s friendship, so it s nice to see it expand in poetry form I am a huge fan of the way Patti uses words that remind me personal [...]


    All of the ground here was covered better in Just Kids Still, this includes some poems and essays written in the immediate wake of Mapplethorpe s death, so you can see Smith s raw grief focused into her art However, I maintain that she s at her best when she s writing clearly and directly.

    Michael Batz

    An exquisite, intimate elegy Brief, but acutely poignant, and full of Smith s powerful prose.


    d une justesse po tique jamais gal e


    A beautiful work, elegant and moving.Patti Smith tells the story of Robert Mapplethorpe and his journey to see the Southern Cross It is a reflective tale of a man who is fighting an illness that is consuming him and will ultimately result in his death Rich in detail, it is filled with references to Mapplethorpe s work and reveals the man behind the image Set against photographs by Mapplethorpe, the work emerges as a way to honour a deep love and friendship It is truly an emotional work

    Quike D-B

    Cortito y raro, pero con algo m gico que no se puede explicar.


    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 Okaye 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 gotwas a strange disjointed story about a man on a voyage at se [...]

    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 their auto biographical story, and which was written in a direct pared down prose style The Coral Sea covers some of the same territory but in a very different way It s dreamlike and its language and its images are not grounded at all but seem to float The sheer loveliness of it carries you along, Read Just KI [...]


    Patti Smith has always seen herself as first and foremost a poet although, interestingly enough, she s a better prose stylist and rock n roller This is especially apparent with The Coral Sea which gained a direct prose analogue see improvement with Just Kids almost 15 years later where her obviously confusing relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe was given its proper story Dealing with the death of a loved one is understandably difficult and for someone who considers themselves a poet will natur [...]


    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 the molten [...]


    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 something [...]

    Kat Masek

    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 deeply Tod [...]

    Jill Goldstein

    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 your f [...]

    Paul Bridgwater

    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 musclesWere contractingAnd he was emergingdrenched and pinkand vibrantthe skin pulled backby t [...]

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