Jim Jarmusch studied poetry as an undergrad at Columbia (before going on to film school at NYU) and therefore had exposure to poets of the New York School who taught there. The New York School poets were influenced by William Carlos Williams who also mentored Allen Ginsburg and wrote a five-volume epic poem called Paterson, named for the town in New Jersey, west of New York City, where Ginsburg and also Lou Costello were born. I learned some of these things by watching Jarmusch's latest movie, which takes place in Paterson and features a poetry-writing bus driver also named Paterson (played by Adam Driver). The poems written by Paterson in the movie were actually written by New York School poet Ron Padgett (some new for the film, some older). Jarmusch also wrote a poem for the film which is attributed to a 10-year-old girl. He also wrote and played the music on the film soundtrack with his band, Sqürl. The music is used to great effect during the meditative moments when Paterson is writing his poetry (which appears legibly superimposed on the screen); I felt transported during these moments which sometimes take place when Paterson is sitting by Paterson Falls, also a focus of Williams' poem, apparently). Outside of these poetic moments, we follow Paterson on his daily routine (the film is structured by the days of the week), waking up each day beside his wife/partner Laura (Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani who has worked for both Farhadi and Kiarostami), then walking to the bus depot, driving around Paterson eavesdropping on passenger conversations, and observing, observing, observing. Later, the routine involves dinner and then walking their scene-stealing English Bulldog to the local bar where more observing takes place. There is a little bit of drama at the bar, but not much. Other time is spent writing poetry in the basement. Paterson seems a contented man of few (spoken) words. Some reviewers have commented that his domestic arrangement (with a stay-at-home wife portrayed as somewhat frivolous) is rather old-fashioned, if not stereotypical, and that Jarmusch should be faulted for this. Perhaps. But it also seems that Paterson may actually be a throwback to an earlier time, not in his beliefs, so much as in his way of being (for example, he explicitly eschews smart phones, computers, etc.). There is a real sense of nostalgic reverie present here even though the America we see is the present day (beautifully shot by Frederick Elmes). The film has a way of casting a spell over the viewer that makes you want to write poetry yourself, or at least to be a more mindful observer of the little things in life that poets notice more. Those transcendent moments that Jarmusch captures for us help the film to rise above the otherwise humdrum existence being portrayed. In other words, poetry can make your life better.