One Poet’s Notes

Frank O’Hara: “Having a Coke with You”

I was intrigued by this post on Edward Byrne’s blog, which provides (as the Valpariaso blog often does) video and text of poems.  What intrigued me was not the delivery of the poem, which was pretty boring, IMHO, but the poem itself, which was one of those conversational Whitmanesque Ginsberg-related pieces, but which works as it is written, unlike the residue of that movement that obtains today.  I was intrigued because I wanted to analyze why it worked for me when so many of the contemporary ones don’t.  Perhaps it’s because this is the idiom of the mid-twentieth century, not of the early twenty-first, and we’re hanging on with slipping fingers to innovations of the past rather than looking to see what rough beast our age is about to bear.