Having a Coke with Frank O'Hara | Summary and Q&A

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February 13, 2020
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The Art Assignment
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Having a Coke with Frank O'Hara

TL;DR

Frank O'Hara, a mid 20th Century poet, incorporated references to food in his poetry, and this video explores his culinary predilections.

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Key Insights

  • 😋 Food played a significant role in Frank O'Hara's poetry, with numerous references to different dishes and ingredients.
  • 🖕 O'Hara's poems reflected his personal experiences and observations of the cultural life in mid 20th Century New York City.
  • 😄 The poet's writing style exhibited a sense of ease and naturalness, capturing the fast-paced rhythm of the city.
  • 👨‍🎨 O'Hara was an active member of the art community and had a close association with Abstract Expressionist painters.
  • 🌍 His contributions to the art world extended beyond poetry, as he worked as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art and curated various exhibitions.
  • 🎼 O'Hara's love for music was evident in his poems, with references to composers like Rachmaninoff and his own experiences as a music student.
  • ✍️ His writing was characterized by direct address and a sense of intimacy, creating a connection between the poet and the reader.

Transcript

Throughout history, food has served as subject matter, inspiration, and of course sustenance for artists. Food has also been the art on a number of occasions. Today we stray from our usual exploration of the eating and cooking lives of visual artists to delve into the culinary predilections of a poet. A much beloved one, who was deeply enmeshed in ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What were some of the foods mentioned in Frank O'Hara's poetry?

Frank O'Hara's poems mentioned a variety of foods, including instant coffee with sour cream, scrambled eggs, liver sausage sandwiches, blueberry blintzes, spaghetti and meatballs, and yogurt.

Q: What was O'Hara's background and involvement in the art community?

O'Hara was born in Baltimore, grew up in Massachusetts, and served in the navy. He later moved to New York City and became part of the Abstract Expressionist painters' community. He hung out at the Cedar Bar and wrote poetry while listening to the painters' conversations.

Q: What were O'Hara's contributions to the art world?

O'Hara published his first pamphlet of poems in 1952, which featured drawings by Larry Rivers. He later became an assistant curator at the Museum of Modern Art and curated several exhibitions. His poetry was also featured in The New American Poetry anthology.

Q: How did O'Hara's poetry exhibit a sense of ease and naturalness?

O'Hara's poems showcased his unique way of observing and describing the world around him. His writing had a sense of ease and naturalness, making the reader feel like they were experiencing the moment with him. His style captured the rhythm and fast-paced movement of the city.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Frank O'Hara's poetry is filled with references to different foods, like coffee, eggs, sandwiches, and more.

  • This video explores recipes inspired by O'Hara's poems, such as an "Orange, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad" and a classic diner cheeseburger.

  • O'Hara's poems showcase his love for music, with references to the composers he adored, as well as his personal experiences and observations.

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