Frank O'Hara

American poet, art critic and writer (1926-1966)

Francis Russell O'Hara (June 27, 1926July 25, 1966) was an American poet who, along with John Ashbery, James Schuyler and Kenneth Koch, was a key member of what was known as the New York School of poetry. O'Hara's association with the Museum of Modern Art and painters like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and others became a source of inspiration for his highly original poetry.

Frank O'Hara

Quotes edit

  • I went back to work and wrote a poem for this person. While I was writing it I was realizing that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born. It's a very exciting movement which will undoubtedly have lots of adherents. It puts the poem squarely between the poet and the person, Lucky Pierre style, and the poem is correspondingly gratified. The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages.
    • Personism: A Manifesto, from The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara (1972).
  • Now I am quietly waiting for
    the catastrophe of my personality
    to seem beautiful again,
    and interesting, and modern.

    The country is grey and
    brown and white in trees,
    snows and skies of laughter
    always diminishing, less funny
    not just darker, not just grey.

    It may be the coldest day of
    the year, what does he think of
    that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
    perhaps I am myself again.

    • Mayakovsky, st. 4, from Meditations in an Emergency (1957).
  • And
    always embrace things, people earth
    sky stars, as I do, freely and with
    the appropriate sense of space.
    • A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island (l. 64-67) (1958).
  • The beauty of America, neither cool jazz nor devoured Egyptian
    heroes, lies in
    lives in the darkness I inhabit in the midst of sterile millions.
    • Ode: Salute to the French Negro Poets (l. 34-36) (1960).
  • It is even in
    prose, I am a real poet. My poem
    is finished and I haven't mentioned
    orange yet It's twelve poems, I call
    it oranges.
    • Why I Am Not a Painter (l. 24-28) (1976).

Quotes about Frank O'Hara edit

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