Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $5.19 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Meditations in an Emergency Paperback – April 1, 1996
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Moving in the way that only simple communication can be moving. . . . His poems always manage a fresh start, free from the dreadful posturings of the conventional verse of his generation.” Kenneth Rexroth, The New York Times Book Review
From the Back Cover
This collection is a reissue of a volume first published by Grove Press in 1957, and it demonstrates beautifully the flawless rhythm underlying O'Hara's conviction that to write poetry, indeed to live, 'you just go on your nerve.'
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Some of the poems are opaque. An exuberant talker, O'Hara on occasion launches into an erudition spill, and if the subject he chooses is of limited interest the resulting poem may not speak to many readers, especially those of us not thoroughly tutored in his ways and means.
Yet I think I am like most of his readers who forgive him this, knowing that with the next poem he will return to his naturally communicative, pleasure-giving mode.
What the American poet and critic Kenneth Rexroth once noted about O'Hara is right on the money: Each of the poems has the air of a "fresh start." When encountering the best of them it is as if your eyes, long occluded, open suddenly onto the world.
This being O'Hara, there are newly-coined and revived words and phrases (cupiditously; buttered bees); thoughts of suicide, express and implied; premonitions of violence; paeans to pop culture icons ("For James Dean"); a campy fandom of Hollywood ("To the Film Industry in Crisis"); tossed off witticisms ("It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so"); a devotion to New York ("I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life"); and, finally, intimate love poems that draw us near.
He has an original voice, and yet I enjoy the occasions when he sounds as other poets, like Ginsberg or the Romantics, or even Shakespeare, who I swear I hear in the poem "Radio." It begins, "Why do you play such dreary music / on Saturday afternoon, when tired / mortally tired I long for a little / reminder of immortal energy?" This shares the questioning voice found in Shakespeare's sonnets (the constant Why? Who? What?) as well Shakespeare's expression of mock petulance -- disappointment turning into complaint turning into self-pity -- such as in Sonnet 34: "Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day / And make me travel forth without my cloak / To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way?"
For some reason I like to read O'Hara's poetry while standing, or walking around a room.
". . . quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of (your) personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern."
You may find yourself deeply in love with this little book by Frank O'Hara. God, I wish he were still around.
Although, I am certainly missing a ton of references. Unless you lived then, and were very tuned in, or you study the subject to death, I don't see how much of O'Hara's works can be extremely relevant to today's reader.
O'Hara is a whimsical writer, but reading this collection is heavy exercise. I suppose these observations make me shallow. What do you think Amazoners?
So why three stars? An ongoing diatribe of mine against certain poetry books - they're too dang expensive. For classic (er, dead) poets I wish these books had something to add to them to make them worth their while. 10 bucks isn't that much for 50 pages of poetry, I guess, but there's no critical apparatus or annotation of any kind except that provided by the author.