Author Investigation

Frank O'Hara

Frank O’ Hara was an American poet who was born in 1926 and died in 1966. He comes from a strict Irish-Catholic background and has studied at Harvard University. He later moved to New York City and received awards for his outstanding poetry. After listening to several pieces by Frank including “Metaphysical Poem” and “Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!),” there is no doubt that he uses humour to shape his poetry. Frank’s view about writing reflects his idea that poetry should be “between two persons instead of two pages.” His writing style has been described as spontaneous and casual. Mark Doty calls Frank’s writing style “relaxed in diction, yet it presses forward with a kind of breathless urgency.” His poems are often funny and he express his thoughts and feelings in them using humour. His major influence was New York City, where he lived with his Harvard classmate John Ashbery. Frank was categorized as an abstract expressionist artist. Poets who were also categorized as abstract expressionist artists before him, whom he joined soon after, include Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollock. Oddly, Frank died in a car crash on the beach at Fire Island in New York City. An excerpt from his poem “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island,” which was published in 1971, is “Rising he said “Some/ day you’ll know. They’re calling to you/too.” Darkly he rose, and then I slept.” These were the last lines of the poem that spoke about the exchange between the poet and the sun. I think Frank O’ Hara was an excellent poet who used humor to express his ideas or feelings.

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