They are both powerful. I personally like perl because of CPAN which provides many many modules and functions you don't have to write yourself. Get a copy of "Learning Perl" and start there. That's what I did 15 years ago.
Yes, I am agree take the copy of Learning Perl.I also want give some idea about Perl.
Perl stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language.It is a general programming language can be used with any other programming language. Perl is very good for doing certain things. Who would not normally develop a user interface in Perl, it would be much easier to use a language like Visual Basic to do so. This makes it an excellent choice to handle HTML files.
Learn both. Python is a breeze to learn, once you get used to the significant whitespace (I had horrible flashbacks to vicous and invisible bugs in makefiles, but it's actually okay). Perl is obnoxious and lovely and lots of fun. Python scales up better - you do't really hear about applications written in perl - but once you know perl, lot of small to mid-sized problems are very easy in it.
I don't really have my feet under me in python yet, but what I've done has been very enjoyable, but I still enjoy perl's twisted logic. Both languages have a sense of humor (not just in the documentation, but in the design) that appeals to me.