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Alphabe Thursday O is for Frank O’Hara

February 26, 2015

ohara On my walking journey through the alphabet I meet, Frank O’Hara (1926-1966) who I understand was as handsome as a marble statue. He wrote poems about tender  everyday adventures; not the type to be shouted from the roof tops.  O’Hara’s poetry is as casual as the conversations he might have as he strolled in the streets.  One of his books was titled Lunch poems; not about food particularly more about his lunchtime walks from his workplace  at the The Museum of Modern Art where he was a curator.   Second Avenue and the collection of essays Standing Still and Walking in New York are also self explanatory works.  It would seem that he addressed  an absent lover or companion as he strolled the streets.  He had a relationship with the artist Larry Rivers who said ‘It was the most extraordinary thing to walk with O’Hara’ and O’Hara wrote a poem called Walking with Larry Rivers.  Walking was a very important part of his day it was a time to organise his thoughts and engage with his emotions.  The city was the place where he was most comfortable, here could in his campy style celebrate the happy accidents and the inconsequential happenings.  In his prose-poem Meditations in an emergency he says that ‘I cannot even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there is a subway handy, or a record store or a some other sign that people do not totally regret life.  It is important to affirm the least sincere, the clouds get enough attention as it is …’   The poem Walking to work ended ‘ … I am becoming the street. Who are you in love with? Me? Straight across the lights I cross.   In another walking poem ‘… I am getting tired of not wearing underwear And then again I like it strolling along feeling the the wind blow softly on my genitals’   and goes on to ask  ‘who dropped that empty carton of cracker jacks?’ before turning to the clouds, the bus, his destination and the ‘you’ to whom he speaks, Central Park. alphabet thursday Image taken from Jacket Magazine with thanks

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2015 6:49 am

    Great introduction to a poet whom I never would have come across if not for your post, will investigate.further.

    • February 26, 2015 6:59 am

      Yes! hes new to me too … thanks for visit and kind comment

  2. February 26, 2015 10:01 am

    Reblogged this on Poem Loves Noise.

  3. February 26, 2015 3:48 pm

    Someone new to pursue a bit! Thanks for the referral…

  4. February 26, 2015 5:17 pm

    I think so too thanks for visit and kind comment xx

  5. February 26, 2015 9:38 pm

    What a lovely and intriguing introduction. I may have to stroll with O’Hara myself.

  6. March 4, 2015 4:16 am

    I have a great love of poetry and I learned about a poet I would not otherwise know. Thank you for this share. An opportunity to learn something new while visiting ALphabe Thursday class mates! Enjoy your week.

    • March 4, 2015 6:55 am

      Thanks Anne … He does sound like a gentle sort of guy and poet! You too have a good week!

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