How to Be Perfect

How to Be Perfect

Book Title: How to Be Perfect

Author: William Carlos Williams

Format: Paperback | 128 pages

Publication Date: 20 Sep 2007

ISBN-13: 9781566892032

"Ron Padgett makes the most quiet and sensible of feelings a provocatively persistent wonder."-Robert Creeley

Ron Padgett has reenergized modern poetry with exuberant and tender love poems, with exceptionally lucid and touching elegies, and with imaginative and action-packed homages to American culture and visual art. He has paid tribute to Woody Woodpecker and the West, to friends and collaborators, to language and cowslips, to beautiful women and chocolate milk, to paintings and small-time criminals. His poems have always imparted a contagious sense of joy.

In these new poems, Padgett hasn't forsaken his beloved Woody Woodpecker, but he has decided to heed the canary and sound the alarm. Here, he asks, "What makes us so mean?" And he really wants to know. Even as these poems cajole and question, as they call attention to what has been lost and what we still stand to lose, they continue to champion what makes sense and what has always been worth saving. "Humanity," Padgett generously (and gently) reminds us, still "has to take it one step at a time."

Ron Padgett is a celebrated translator, memoirist, teacher, and, as Peter Gizzi says, "a thoroughly American poet, coming sideways out of Whitman, Williams, and New York Pop with a Tulsa twist." His poetry has been translated into more than a dozen languages and has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry 180, The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, The Oxford Book of American Poetry, and on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. Visit his website at