The Coral Sea
In elegant and lyrical prose, Patti Smith honors the vibrant spirit and person that was Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989).
In linked pieces she 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; and his years surviving AIDS and his ascent into death. Rich in details, it is filled with references to Mapplethorpe's photographs and shows the man beneath the persona.
The Coral Sea is Smith's beautiful recasting of her grief to recapture Mapplethorpe's life in the past and his future in his art. Set against photographs by Mapplethorpe, the work reads as a hymn, a prayer, a fable wishing him Godspeed on his latest journey.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - MaowangVater - LibraryThing
Speaking of her close companion Robert Mapplethorpe, in the book’s preface Smith writes, “When he passed away [in 1989], I could not weep so I wrote. Then I took the pages and set them away. Here are ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lisapeet - LibraryThing
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 ... Read full review
To the Reader
TH E H ERCULEAN MOTH