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Edited by Donald Allen
Categories: 20th Century, American, Humour, LGBTQ+
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (180 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2005)
Now that our hero has come back to us
In his white pants and we know his nose
Trembling like a flag under fire,
We see the calm cold river is supporting
Our forces, the beautiful history.
from 'On Seeing Larry Rivers' Washington Crossing
the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art'
Frank O'Hara (1926-66) is among the most delightful and radical poets of the twentieth century. He is celebrated for his apparently unpremeditated poems, autobiographical and immediate ('any time, any place'). This is not the whole O'Hara: he may have scribbled poems on serviettes, but others he worked on with intense concentration, creating sequences that are inexhaustibly nuanced, full of surprise, heartbreak and laughter. There are analogies between his work and that of the painters he championed, Pollock, Kline and de Kooning among them.
He is resolutely metropolitan, and his metropolis is New York City. He brilliantly captured the pace and rhythms, quandaries and exhilarations, of its mid-twentieth-century life.
'O'Hara's hip, glamorous, freewheeling self-celebrations both reflected and helped disseminate a new kind of confidence and daring in American poetry.' Mark Ford Praise for Frank O'Hara '... a remarkable new poetry - both modest and monumental, with something basically usable about it - not only for poets in search of a voice of their own but for the reader who turns to poetry as a last resort in trying to juggle the contradictory components of modern life into something like a liveable space.'
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