Boston's 'Punk Poet' Patti Smith Gets A Day In Her Honor
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Today is Patti Smith Day in Boston. You might think that's the kind of honor Boston gives only to a local pol or the Boston Bruins. But Boston's also a town of poets - Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, in fact, Ted Hughes for several years. And Patti Smith, now 68, has long been known as the punk poet laureate. This 1978 song, "Because The Night," co-written with Bruce Springsteen, is probably her best-known. She's also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won the 2010 National Book Award for her memoir, which includes stories of a lot of famous people from the times they weren't.
The proclamation Mayor Walsh signed to make October 10 Patti Smith Day in Boston sounds lyrical for a civic documents - whereas Ms. Smith's work brilliantly balances the sacred and the profane, never succumbing to an easy moral binary and always urging her listeners to challenge their preconceived views of the world, and whereas Ms. Smith has often been referred to as the punk poet laureate because she breathed new life into poetry for younger generations, particularly those who felt they were different. As she sings in "Because The Night," take me now, baby, here as I am. Pull me close. Try and understand.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE THE NIGHT")
PATTI SMITH: (Singing) Because the night belongs to lovers. Because the night belongs to life.
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