Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Friday, June 27, 2008

Frank O'Hara: "Having a Coke with You"

Frank O’Hara was born on this date (June 27) in 1926. In the rare video above from 1966, just before his death in July of the same year, he presents “Having a Coke with You.”


is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I'm with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o'clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it's in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven't gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn't pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

—Frank O'Hara

In his book, The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets, David Lehman correctly comments about O’Hara’s poetry: “The surface of O’Hara’s poems is so dazzling, with taste so fine and sensibility so rare and appealing, that it comes as a surprise to investigate and realize that there are depths of meaning in his offhanded poems that seem as disarmingly immediate and perishable as telephone calls. The prejudice against humor and lightheartedness in poetry has caused some readers to overlook not only the lyric pathos informing O’Hara’s work but also the incisive way his work captures a world, a time, and a place.”

Readers are invited to view some of the other articles at “One Poet’s Notes” with commentary, audio, and video concerning Frank O’Hara: “Frank O’Hara on Writing About Experience,” “The Poet and the Painter: Grace Hartigan and Frank O’Hara,” “Grace Hartigan and Frank O’Hara,” “Larry Rivers and Frank O’Hara,” and “Frank O’Hara and Jackson Pollock.”


Farfalla Press said...

Thank you Ed for this gift.

I had never seen Frank O'Hara read a poem

before in my life.

Daniel Pritchard said...

I'm perpetually in the dark as to why so many can have such a high opinion of O'Hara's poetry.

Anonymous said...

This reading is quite wonderful--thanks! I just finished reviewing the new O'Hara *Selected Poems*, edited by Mark Ford--and I wish I had heard the reading first. Janet

English 102 said...

What a marvellous poem! & I enjoy the way O'Hara reads it. Which makes me a bit sad that these readings are so rare . . .

Deja said...

This poem is so beautiful, just the love he has for her is simply breath taking

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful romantic poem. I am glad to have found out about Frank O'Hara.

Anonymous said...

As an 18 year old in 1975, I took to walking home with my 15 year old neighbor after school. We would regularly stop at a convenience store on the way, buy Cokes and drink and talk as we walked. I was struck by how intelligent and beautiful she was. I wish I had known about this poem then: she would have loved it and would have been impressed by my knowledge of it.

But I'll tell her about it when she comes home tonight and remind her of that faraway time and place and how we had Cokes together. I'm still amazed at how intelligent and beautiful she is.

Samsung sgh-a867 said...

One word to describe this --> beautiful!

Anonymous said...

The poem is about how it doesn't matter what you do in your life... just who you do with it. The most simple things in life, like drinking a coke, can be an incredible experience if you do it with the right person. The artists tried so hard to create beautiful paintings and sculptures, but they never got the right person to be in their pieces. And that's all that matters in an experience; the person, not what you did.

Anonymous said...

I just heard this for the first time and I am amazed at how boutifal it is and just like a song by the betles song "All you need is love" helps me under stand that as the aurther was trying to say was that once you find the right person it no longer maters what you do as long that thay are by your side

Anonymous said...

Saw this on the movie Beastly.... I decided to look it up .. love it

Unknown said...

Same here this is just ..... no words can describe this it has left me speechless

Anonymous said...

It did what word

Anonymous said...

I think Frank O'Hara was actually born in March; but his parents told him it was June because they didn't want him to know he was born out of wedlock.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure he's talking about a man, but I agree with the sentiment.

Anonymous said...

LOL straight people, yeah, Frank O'Hara was like super super gay... Jose Esteban Munoz does a great reading of this poem in "Cruising Utopia" -- it's about how small seemingly meaningless moments of intimacy between queer people also promise entire queer worlds