8 jun. 2007

Cal it confirmatory bias, but I've found Frank O'Hara to be a lot more like Lorca than Robert Bly is. I don't mean that O'Hara imitates or is visibly influenced by Lorca (except in one or two poems.) It's a deeper similarity. They are the same kind of poeet. Both have a Protean sense of self; both are poets with a variety of styles and masks, involved with the best painting and music of their day. (Either could have been a concert pianist if the wind had shifted in a different direction.) Both were charismatic figures, the life of the party, with a more somber side, suspicious of the source of their own appeal. Both were intellectuals who didn't want to be seen as intellectuals. Both are condescended to by ignorant fools. Both play with "camp" elements. Both wrote texts derived from the cinema.

Bly on the other hand has nothing temperamentally or poetically in common with Lorca. Lorca is the master of many meters, forms, and genres. Bly of none. Lorca draws on the fullness of folk and popular traditions of his native language. Bly doesn't. O'Hara and Lorca are polyfaceted, complex, resonant figures. They are the greatest and most representative poets of their respective times and places.