1 abr. 2008

O’Hara didn’t introspect or recollect much. His poems lacked the formal appliqué of rhyme and meter, and, where most poets deposited words with an eyedropper, O’Hara sprayed them through a fire hose.

That's got to be one of the worst, most ignorant descriptions of Frank O'Hara's poetry ever written. Have you read "In Memory of My Feelings," Mr. Dan Chiasson? If you have, how can you make a statement like that? There is plenty of memory and introspection in O'Hara. I challenge you to come to this blog and back up that statement.

I could name 20 or 30 other introspective O'Hara poems just off the top of my head, but I won't bother. How about starting with "To the Harbormaster." "Personal Poem" is very introspective, and that's one of the best known texts. It's not like you have to go that far to find O'Hara's Pasternakian dimension.

You think that rhyme and meter are a "formal appliqué." Wrong again. O'Hara did write sonnets too, by the way.

You think O'Hara sprayed words through a fire hose? I don't think so. Wrong again. He was a poet of nuance, of subjective experience. The recollection is there too, in poems like the Ode for Michael Goldberg's birthday.

For you, it must be easy to write a review of a book: you simply put forward some cliché about the author prevalent in your particular literary milieu. But what does that say about you? You live in a world where you can make statements like that and not have people call you on them?

And what, the New Yorker doesn't have editors any more? A simple fact checker would have been sufficient in this case, because that description is so far from O'Hara's poetry as to be factually incorrect. This is not a difference of opinion.

4 comentarios:

Bob Basil dijo...

Two truly dumb sentences, certainly. The poem beginning "Lana Turner Has Collapsed" shows that every element in them is completely wrong.

Have you heard, BTW, a recording of Frank O'Hara read that poem? Here it is at http://www.frankohara.org/fohaudio02/poemlana.html .

Tom Beckett dijo...

You are on a roll, Jonathan. Keep going!

Jonathan dijo...

I've heard that. I have it somewhere in my itunes on one of my computers.

The Lana Turner poem is not the most introspective poem on the introspection scale. I think "Getting up before Someone (sun)" and "A True Account of Talking to the Sun" should be mentioned first, along with the poem dedicated to Morton Feldman (Who'd have thought / that snow fell). The elegies for James Dean. The Pasternakian O'Hara, lushly romantic, is there even in the casual "outward" looking poems like "To the Film Industry in Crisis."

John dijo...

What?!? You mean "you just go on your nerve" was a misdirection?!?

Chiasson's thesis that O'Hara was primarily an elegist strikes me as worth considering. But "firehose" is really unfortunate, as is "eyedropper," for that matter, not to mention "applique." Chiasson's right that O'Hara's primary m.o. wasn't as introspective or recollective as many of his contemporaries, at least not apparently. And -- as O'Hara shows, "apparently" counts! Even if it's not The End or The All. As for New Yorker editors, I've seen far worse howlers in what they so solipsistically refer to as "the magazine." (I don't know if I shall ever forgive Adam Gopnik for saying that Bill Evans was the first jazz pianist who knew Bach as well as he did the blues.)