Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Lunch Poems [City Lights Pocket Poets]
Frank O’Hara

£6.99

Important poems by the late New York poet published in The New American Poetry, Evergreen Review, Floating Bear and stranger places. Often this poet, strolling through the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon, has paused at a sample Olivetti to type up thirty or forty lines of ruminations, or pondering more deeply has withdrawn to a darkened warehouse or firehouse to limn his computed misunderstandings of the eternal questions of life, coexistence, and depth, while never forgetting to eat lunch, his favourite meal.

Paperback, 76pp
City Lights Pocket Books, 2001 (1964)
ISBN 9780872860353

Biography

FRANK O’HARA (1926-1966) was a dynamic leader of the “New York School” of poets, a group that included John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler. The Abstract Expressionist painters in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s used the title, but the poets borrowed it. From the beginning O’Hara’s poetry was engaged with the worlds of music, dance, and painting. In that complex of associations he devised an idea of poetic form that allowed the inclusion of many kinds of events, including everyday conversations and notes about New York advertising signs. Since his death in 1966 at age forty, the depth and richness of his achievements as a poet and art critic have been recognized by an international audience. As the painter Alex Katz remarked, “Frank’s business was being an active intellectual.” His articulate intelligence made new proposals for poetic form possible in American poetry.