Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Beats: Frank O’Hara

Perhaps the best introduction to the poetry of Frank O’Hara (1926-1966) is what he himself had to say. In “Personism: A Manifesto,” O’Hara wrote, “I hate Vachel Lindsay, always have; I don’t even like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someone’s chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don’t turn around and shout “Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.’”
That could easily be an O’Hara poem.

O’Hara was one of the lights of what was called the New York School, a group of writers, artists and musicians that included John Ashberry and often Allen Ginsberg. Several of them knew each other from college (like O’Hara and Ashberry). O’Hara crossed all three of the cultural groups represented – he was a poet, he had originally studied music, and was worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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