Ron Padgett

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Ron Padgett werd geboren op 17 juni 1942 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Als 17-jarige middelbare scholier was Padgett mede-oprichter van het avant-garde literatuurschrift “The White Dove Review”. Samen met collega Central High-studenten Dick Gallup en Joe Brainard en student-dichter Ted Berrigan, vroeg Padgett Beat Movement schrijvers als Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, LeRoi Jones, EE Cummings, en Malcolm Cowley om voor het blad bijdragen te leveren. Tot Padgett’s verrassing boden de meeste schrijvers inderdaad werk voor het tijdschrift aan. Padgett ontving een B.A. Van de universiteit van Columbia in 1964 en studeerde creatief schrijven aan het Wagner College samen met Kay Boyle, Howard Nemerov en Kenneth Koch. Hij kreeg een Fulbright Fellowship en studeerde 20ste eeuwse Franse literatuur in Parijs in de jaren 1965 en 1966. In 1996 kreeg hij een beurs ​​van de Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. Padgett gaf in 1968-69 poëzie-workshops aan St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, New York, en was dichter in de schoolprogramma’s van New York City Poets van 1969-1976. Hij was directeur publicaties voor Teachers & Writers Collaborative van 1982 tot en met 1999. Hij publiceerde ook een aantal boeken op het gebied van onderwijs en schrijven. Ook was hijvan 1980 tot 2000 redacteur van Teachers & Writers Magazine. Hij was mede-oprichter / uitgever van Full Court Press en redacteur van 1973-88. Hij heeft lesgeven aan diverse onderwijsinstellingen, waaronder het Atlantic Center for the Arts en Columbia University, Daarnaast presenteerde hij een radio-serie over poëzie.

Stairway to the Stars

“And then there were three
whereas before there had been four
or two

And then there were four or two.”
Thus spake the King.
No one dared ask what it meant.

He seemed satisfied by the beauty
of the logic that had arrived,
the royal hall now lightly radiant

as he arose from his throne
and the world fell away,
courtiers, battlements, and clouds,

and he rose like a piece of paper
on which his effigy had been traced
in dotted lines whose dots came loose

and flew away to a place in history
where nothing mattered.
And then there was one.


After Reverdy

I would never have wanted to see your sad face again
Your cheeks and your windy hair
I went all across the country
Under this humid woodpecker
Day and night
Under the sun and the rain

Now we are face to face again
What does one say to my face

Once I rested up against a tree
So long
I got stuck to it
That kind of love is terrible


Prose Poem (“The morning coffee.”)

The morning coffee. I’m not sure why I drink it. Maybe it’s the ritual
of the cup, the spoon, the hot water, the milk, and the little heap of
brown grit, the way they come together to form a nail I can hang the
day on. It’s something to do between being asleep and being awake.
Surely there’s something better to do, though, than to drink a cup of
instant coffee.
Such as meditate? About what? About having a cup of
coffee. A cup of coffee whose first drink is too hot and whose last drink
is too cool, but whose many in-between drinks are, like Baby Bear’s por-
ridge, just right. Papa Bear looks disgruntled. He removes his spectacles
and swivels his eyes onto the cup that sits before Baby Bear, and then,
after a discrete cough, reaches over and picks it up. Baby Bear doesn’t
understand this disruption of the morning routine. Papa Bear brings
the cup close to his face and peers at it intently. The cup shatters in his
paw, explodes actually, sending fragments and brown liquid all over the
room. In a way it’s good that Mama Bear isn’t there. Better that she rest
in her grave beyond the garden, unaware of what has happened to the

Ron Padgett (Tulsa, 17 juni 1942)