How Long: Poems
Author: Ron Padgett
Publisher: Coffee House Press (2011)
Padgett’s title poem asks: “How long do you want to go on being the person you think you are? / How Long, a city in China.” With the arrival of his first grandchild, Padgett becomes even more inspired to confront the eternal mysteries with a wry, rueful honesty. This elegiac and witty collection illuminates the world at large and at small—from the Great Wall of China to the radiant details of the everyday—and brings wonder and pleasure with it.
“Padgett’s poems are so playful, self-mocking and eager to please that it would be easy to overlook their craft, not to mention the depth and sincerity of the emotions they convey. What animates How Long is the tension between the buoyancy of its language and the gravity of its subject.”