The subjects of the next assignment I have are Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg's poetry. Initially I was totally non-plussed by both poets, but I have to say they're both growing on me rapid!
This 20thc Lit course I'm taking is great for all the introductions to poets and writers that I might never have read otherwise! I'm having great fun currently looking on t'internet to find resources, since the local library wouldn't really be a goer for these.
Today, I'm mostly finding O'Hara links.
So far: The Academy of American Poets shows info on his life, and an essay looking at O'Hara's essay 'Personism' besides plenty of other prose essays. 'Personism' is in our reader, and demonstrates O'Hara's refusal to take art as seriously as some would have us do. That's a really fun way of looking at the meaning of literature and of art in general. I like O'Hara's attitude - it's so fresh!
Poems like Rhapsody really catch my eye, for his new way of looking at New York. I've never been there, but looking at a map today with the poem in front of me, led me to appreciate what he tries to capture in his work. I'm going to have to visit NY now. I can see how bands like the Velvet Underground and artists like Andy Warhol came out of this exciting time in the US, even if under the intensifying cloud of the Cold war.
But I got really enthusiastic about his work when I read Having a Coke with You
His sheer enthusiasm for life, especially when in love points out what he thinks all those artists have missed out on: "some marvellous experience" that validates what we are as humans and that is so difficult to truly capture in art, without seeming ridiculous.
The last third of this poem, reads like a potted history of modern art, from Rembrandt through Futurism and beyond. I had great fun looking up the references to art pieces in 'Having a Coke...' The best one was the Marino Marini reference to the rider and the horse. I think I might have found the piece he was on about but even if I'm wrong, it's still a fun picture!
Well, O'Hara did work in the Museum of Modern Art!
So, on to Allen Ginsberg tomorrow or Wednesday, life permitting.