Thursday Mar 30

PadgettRon-creditJemimahKuhfeld Ron Padgett's books include How to Be Perfect, You Never Know, and Great Balls of Fire. His most recent translation (with Wang Ping) is Flash Cards by Yu Jian. Padgett edited The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard for the Library of America. He is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His How Long was a 2012 Pultizer Prize finalist in poetry. In the fall of 2013, Coffee House Press will publish his Collected Poems. For more information, go here.


 Art Lessons


Narrative Painting

The Madonna never walks.

The Portrait

Bronzino did for the portrait what the portrait did for the sitter.

Still Life

Good still lifes have emptiness.

The Self-Portrait

The self-portrait did for the self what the self did for the portrait.


Landscape is a window through which you see what you thought.


Don't move.

A Bit about Bishop Berkeley

Bishop Berkeley is fond of saying,
in making a point,
"This is obvious
to anyone who takes a moment
to examine it with an attentive mind."
Then he says,
"Abstract ideas do not exist,"
which sounds odd
until you recall he also says
that language makes everything unclear,
though we need it
to get what we want.
He convinced investors
to give him a tidy sum
to open a school
for colonial and Native American children,
but the final funding fell through
so he bought Rhode Island instead
or a big chunk of it
and went back to England
and told his investors,
"Abstract ideas do not exist."
This is obvious?
And oh, his name was George.



Dance and Sing

Dance and Sing Your Way around the World, that is what this book will show you how to do. From the uses of yak butter in Tibetan dance to the leitmotif of jumping beans in Mexican song, this book will tell you how to enjoy your travels more by learning to dance and sing as the local inhabitants do. Soon you will be tripping the light fantastic like a Cambodian royal dancer and shouting folk songs like an Albanian shepherd. And for those readers who cannot afford the cost—or face the rigors—of world travel, we have provided an appendix, Dance and Sing Your Way around the World without Leaving Your Own Home, for when you truly let yourself go in song and dance you go to a place you never thought you'd be, no matter who and when you are.



Photo Credit: Jemimah Kuhfeld