The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English

By Ian Hamilton | Go to book overview

P

PADGETT, Ron ( 1942- ), was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended Columbia University. He is married and fives in New York City, where he is a member of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative, a project that introduces school- children to poetry. Although he resists the label, he is generally viewed as a second-generation member of the New York School, following in the footsteps of Frank ⋆O'Hara, John ⋆Ashbery, and Kenneth ⋆Koch. In Padgett's case the seminal influence is probably that of Koch, with whom he studied at Columbia. Padgett's poems lack both the thematic complexity and depth of Ashbery and the documentary texture of O'Hara; their appeal lies chiefly in their bright, zany sense of humour and their cartoon imagery. Like Koch, Padgett cultivates a childlike sensibility. Convention, artifice, and cliché provide the primary stuff of his imagination, together with a fluid, discontinuous sense of form inherited from French ⋆Surrealism.

A number of books have been produced in collaboration with other writers, like Ted ⋆Berrigan, and with artists like Jim Dine and Joe Brainard. In addition to his poetry, Padgett has translated the French poets Apollinaire, Larbaud, and Cendrars. His books of poems include Tulsa Kid ( New York, 1979), and Triangles in the Afternoon ( New York, 1980). [ RG

PAGE, Geoff(rey Donald) ( 1940- ), was born in Grafton, New South Wales, and educated in Canberra, where he teaches English and history.

His interest in history is evident thoughout his verse, and in the anthology he edited, Shadows from the Wire: Poems and Photographs of Australians in the Great War ( 1983), and is voiced too in the novels Benton Conviction ( 1985) and Winter Vision ( 1989), and in the short prose pieces of Invisible Histories ( 1990). Influenced by Les A. ⋆Murray, Page's linguistic range is, however, narrower than Murray's, his subject-matter and its handling more conservative, even nostalgic. Music, especially jazz, is another continuing interest, informing a range of formal experiments. These are most notable in Footwork ( Sydney, 1988), which is Page at his most metrically and linguistically innovative. More typically, in volumes such as Smalltown Memorials ( St Lucia, Qld. 1975), Cassandra Paddocks ( Sydney, 1980), and Collected Lives ( Sydney, 1986), his poetry is spare, almost reticent, though flashes of vivid imagery often fix a poem's image of the historic past with a modern tone or gesture. Selected Pomu ( Sydney, 1991) gives Page's own choice of the best from his previous eight volumes--a distillation of the careful voice of a craftsman poet. It was followed by Gravel Corners ( Sydney, 1992). [ JD

PAGE, P(atricia) K(athleen) ( 1916- ), was born in Swanage, England, but raised on the Canadian prairies by parents who migrated to Canada in 1919. After attending St Hilda's School in Calgary, she was employed initially as a shop assistant and radio actress in Saint John, New Brunswick, and worked later as a researcher and scriptwriter in Montreal at the National Film Board. From 1942 to 1945 she was associated with F. R. ⋆Scott, A. M. ⋆Klein, and Patrick ⋆Anderson on the editonal board of Preview, an avant-garde literary magazine, and she published As Ten as Twenty, her first collection of

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