Ron Padgett is a young New York poet of already established underground reputation, and this, his first collection, seems certain to assure him of a wide, admiring audience and formidable influence. It bears no resemblance to the usual introductory slim volume which one consults to see if the poet has ""found his voice."" Rather, it is a sustained virtuoso performance, a staggering display of poetic forms and voices, a literary arsenal. The 58 works in Great Balls Of Fire (which shares its title with the rock'n'roll song) include delicate lyrics, occasional poems, flat-toned narratives, forays into pure abstraction, concrete poems, one-line poems, nonsense verse, parodies, love poems, phonetic translations, a poem in French and a number of other experiments and curios. Echoes of several American and French modern poets may be caught in these works, but all are turned to highly individual account by Padgett's high spirits and protean sense of humor. And the personality that finally emerges is quite fascinating, boisterous and secretive, charming and bewildering.