Charles Harper

Modern Poetry 306

Frank O’Hara

Having a Coke with You


Frank O’Hara was a neat modern poet .He was indulgent in the arts and was also a participant as a critic. He was special in the fact that he participated in the other arts as much as he did poetry. He once said that he would much rather be a painter but he knew he was not. He had cleaver ways of putting his criticism of art in mediums weather poetry or paintings. To me he was unique and valued to the craft because he was just as much a fan as a contributor.

“After all,” he wrote, “only Whitman and Crane and Williams, of the American poets, are better than the movies.” O’Hara enjoyed the arts freely and unpretentiously, taking in a ballet as frequently and casually as one might see a movie. In “Having a Coke with You” he writes:

               I look

at you and I would rather look at you than all

    the portraits in the world

except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally

   and anyway it’s in the Frick

which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so

   we can go together for the first time

and the fact that you move so beautifully more

   or less takes care of Futurism

just as at home I never think of the Nude

   Descending a Staircase


He to me is one of the honest poets I’ve ever read or at least he portrays himself to be. His language is disarming and conversational, yet there is a definite genius at work please look up some of his work a see what you think.