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The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara Paperback – Mar 31 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 586 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (March 31 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520201663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520201668
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #125,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By consumatum@aol.com on Oct. 11 1997
Format: Paperback
This is one of the indispensable titles in American literature. By turns lyrical and conversational, O'Hara's poems have the beauty of perfect stones and polished driftwood. That's the best I can do to describe this work, and it doesn't even come close. It would be more prudent to say, maybe, that the world would be a far better place if there were more people in it with O'Hara's eye for wit and ear for beauty.
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By A Customer on Feb. 23 2004
Format: Paperback
His work is bold and yet still accessible to all poetry fans. This collection is amazing and a true must.
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Format: Paperback
I dare you to flip through this book and not be deeply affected. His poetry is immediate,honest, and completely transparent. Rare is it that emotion is so cleanly displayed, and so easily understandable. I have little patience for most poetry after reading this collection.
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Format: Paperback
An earlier reviewer describes O'Hara's poetry as shallow and vacuous. Shallow, maybe. But not vacuous. O'Hara's interested in the minutiae of daily life - buying a pack of Gauloises on the way to friends for dinner, seeing a headline about Lana Turner collapsing, the hard hats worn by construction workers. Read one poem and you might come away thinking it's trivial. But his life's work - taken as a whole - is an intelligent, alert, funny and perceptive record of a life lived to the full (I think someone else may have said that before me, somewhere). Thing is, O'Hara's interested in surfaces - things, events, trivia - because they have meaning. So his poetry is shallow in a very real and virtuous sense. He's not trying to make big statements, a la Charles Olson or Robert Lowell. What I find amazing is how moving his poetry can so often be, as in The Day Lady Died. On one reading, it's simply a list of things he does on the way to friends for dinner. But the impact is enormous. The poem gets you right up close to O'Hara as he learns of Billie Holiday's death and remembers hearing her sing. Nothing vacuous about that.
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Format: Paperback
O'Hara was a brilliant poet who seemingly had nothing to write about. His language is incredibly imaginative, and his productivity was astounding. But in the end the vast majority of his poems were little more than frivolous ditties about his friends and the artsy scene around New York City. It's almost a shame that with his amazing talents O'Hara didn't live in a somewhat more challenging set of circumstances - it would have been interesting to hear what he had to say. But reading his poems is like reading the work of an incredibly gifted, yet ultimately vacuous, artist.
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