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Friday, March 3, 2017


Ron Padgett wrote some faux-naif poetry for the movie Paterson, which features a poet bus driver named Paterson who drives a bus in Paterson, NJ, with the obligatory nod to WCW. The director is Jim Jarmusch, who studied with Kenneth Koch and Davis Shapiro.

A critic in the LRB, a poet named August K, trashed the movie and Padgett's poetry, but without even mentioning Padgett, who is one of my favorite poets. The New Yorker has been kinder, though I think they don't mention Ron P. either.  August K.* is not nearly the poet Ron Padgett is, needless to say.

Of course, I knew about Padgett in High School when I was devote of the New York School.  Still am. I haven't seen the movie yet, but will report back when I do.  JJ is a wonderful director whom I've followed a bit since his first movie.  Someone was pointing out that there are no good movies about poetry and poets.  


Kleinzahler is the kind of poet who uses phrases like "lovely beyond compare" with no sense of irony.


Vance Maverick said...

Pretty sure K was not stomping Paterson in his usual stomping grounds, but in the Globe and Mail. While if the New Yorker piece you're thinking of is this by Brody, Padgett does get credit.

Have you seen the picture? Is it as twee as it sounds?

Jonathan said...

I'm pretty sure I saw this in the London Review first, but you are right that the New Yorker does mention Padgett.

Thomas said...

I saw the movie. It's totally enjoyable. It's also easy to criticize. (I haven't read the reviews. I'd rather hear your opinion first.) It raised a good question in my mind: how to make a movie of WCW's Paterson. It probably doesn't answer it. The straight way of doing it would a scene-by-scene reproduction of the book. In my opinion, it should be done in the mood of Jarmusch's sketch.

Anyway, I'll wait to see what you think, Jonathan. There were a couple of nice details, I thought, which I'll bring up after you've seen it.