Sunday, March 27, 2011

Frank O'Hara

[Still from Frank O'Hara reading "Fantasy" March 5, 1966, viewable at]

Today is Frank O’Hara’s Birthday. [see the comments - no, it's not!] This is Frank reading “Fantasy (Dedicated to the Health of Allen Ginsberg)”
and here from ABE books is, what the bookseller refers to as a “talismanic object
Allen on O’Hara (writing, November 1966, in The Village Voice): “He (O'Hara) was at the center of an extraordinary poetic era…which gives his poetry its sense of historic monumentality..And he integrated purely personal life into the high art of composition, marking the return of all authority back to the person. His style is actually in line with the tradition that begins with Independence and runs through Thoreau and Whitman, here composed in metropolitan space age architecture environment. He taught me to really see New York for the first time, by making the giant style of Midtown his intimate cocktail environment. It’s like having Catullus change your view of the Forum in Rome…”
It’s like having Catullus change your view of the Forum in Rome
Here's Frank reading "Having A Coke With You", just one of the many treasures on Frank O'Hara dot org.
Happy Birthday Frank!


  1. Love all of this, as a hard rain pours outside,
    but his birthday is on JUNE 27!!

    Hope this doesn't put the candle out!

  2. oops! , thanks, Dan, for pointing this out! - seems Frank has a history of birthday mis-placement (be it March or November):

    "Now it is the 27th/ of this month/ which would have been my birthday /if I'd been born in it/ but I wasn't/ would have made me a/ Scorpion/
    which symbolizes silver, money, riches/ firm in aim, coldblooded in action/ loving the Bull/ smelling of sandalwood/ I do anyway/
    instead of Cancer/ which symbolizes instability,suggestibility, sensibility/ all the ilities like a clavichord/ only an interior firmness/ favoring
    good and evil alike/ loving Capricorn/ with its solitudinous research/
    but how could I love other/ than the worldly Virgin/ my force is in mobility it's said/ I move/ towards you/ born in the sign which I should only like/ with love" (Collected Poems - page 345)

    pretty soon it's gonna stop raining