Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O'Hara

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Yes, Mad Men fans, this is the book of poems that Don Draper is reading from at the end of the season 2 episode of the same name. In part because of his untimely death at the age of 40 in 1966, O'Hara may not be as well known outside of academic circles as some of his contemporaries, such as Allen Ginsberg (the subject of the recent film Howl), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, and other Beats, but his poetry drew the praise of critics for a spontaneity that is at once artless and profound. O'Hara, an art critic and assistant curator at the Museum of Modern Art, believed that the best poems came about when, as he put it, "you just go on your nerve," and don't depend on form or convention. Poetry for O'Hara was something that you toss off in the heat and energy of the moment, not something that you sit down and compose, edit, and work into shape with painstaking care. Hence the title of this collection--his poems have a Zen-like calm and an unforced naturalness, despite arising from the hurry and uncertainty of everyday life. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Chris G. @ Bay View & Tippecanoe


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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on November 21, 2010 12:52 PM.

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