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Selected Poems (edition 1974)
by Frank O'Hara
Selected Poems by Frank O'Hara
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Frank O'Hara's poetry is infused with an infectious energy and wit. You want to be his friend, and in a way, you feel he already is. ( )
March: I'm reading this, a little at a time, and feel as if I'm being tried and found lacking: I like poems to make sense as prose and am befuddled here by what seem to me to be pages of incoherence studded with striking phrases.
I don't mind pondering a difficult text if I believe it will yield meaning, but it feels as if this poet is playing with me, and I'm not having fun. (I've read that he was trying for, and probably achieving, an equivalent in poetry to Jackson Pollock's abstract expressionism. I'll persist.)
May: After a break, I went back to it. I still don't think it's my cup of tea, but I've decided to read the poems as little pieces of play -- instead of puzzling over each obscurity, I'll assume that it's there because it's what popped into his head and sounded cool -- though sometimes the emotion behind the writing is nothing like as cheerful as that description might imply. In other words, I stopped trying to understand what was going on and just let it flow . No doubt I missed a lot, but I also enjoyed a lot. 'Ave Maria' is a case in point: it addresses the mothers of America, cheekily urging them to let their children go to the movies because of the possibility of sexual initiation there!
The overall arrangement of the poems is chronological. There is a brief chronology of O'Hara's short life and an index of titles.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)811.54 — Literature English (North America) American poetry 20th Century 1945-1999
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