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National Poetry Month Just Poet Pick – April 2nd

 Today’s poem was chosen by Larry Belle

Excerpts from “How to be Perfect”  by Ron Padgett

(see link: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index/www.bartleby.com/145/index.php?date=2012/05/30 )


Get some sleep.


Eat an orange every morning.


Be friendly. It will help make you happy.


Hope for everything. Expect nothing.


Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room

before you save the world. Then save the world.

Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.


Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t

forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length

and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass

ball collection.


Wear comfortable shoes.


Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.


Plan your day so you never have to rush.


Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if

you have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.


After dinner, wash the dishes.


Calm down.


Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want



Don’t be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.


Don’t think that progress exists. It doesn’t.

Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do

anything to make it impossible.


Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not

possible, go to another one.


If you feel tired, rest.


Don’t be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel

even older. Which is depressing.


Do one thing at a time.


If you burn your finger, put ice on it immediately. If you bang

your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for 20

minutes. you will be surprised by the curative powers of ice and



Do not inhale smoke.


Take a deep breath.


Do not smart off to a policeman.


Be good.


Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.


Do not go crazy a lot. It’s a waste of time.


Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to

drink, say, “Water, please.”


Take out the trash.

Love life.


Use exact change.


When there’s shooting in the street, don’t go near the window.



In response to this piece, let’s write a poem about hope. That’s it. It could be that you hope for life after death, or that you hope I post a more specific prompt tomorrrow. As always, be creative and have fun.

— Dave


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