Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Great Regulars: It wasn't until 1956,

after his [Frank O'Hara's] 30th birthday and the death of his close friend Bunny Lang, that the "I do this, I do that" pieces started to appear. The surreal devices are toned down and a distinctive intimate voice emerges, delivering the close at hand. As he says in a poem to the painter Robert Rauschenberg: "Yes, it's necessary, I'll do/what you say, put everything/aside but what is here." By 1961, however, these had evolved into a series of charismatic, fragmented poems spinning on colloquial phrases and half-glimpsed details, scattering themselves in pieces across the page.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Selected Poems by Frank O'Hara--review


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