Frank O'Hara: Friendship and 'Personism'


This paper is a short study about the American post-modern poet, Frank O'Hara. As an anti-academic poet, his poetry is embedded with materials and associations like movie stars of the twentieth and the thirtieth, the daily social activities, jazz music, telephone calls of his friends, and any other daily incidents that can hardly fit inclusion into the poetry of the other poets. The study falls into three sections and a conclusion. Section One deals with O'Hara's position within the new American avant-garde of the post-war. The function of poetry, according to O'Hara, is stressed here along with extracts from his own poetry that reject and contradict that function. In the second section, the principles of friendship and coterie are discussed where friendship can be discerned everywhere throughout O'Hara's poetry, and his poems seem full of friends, while the last section studies the poet's 'manifesto' that he called 'Personism'. The study closes with brief notes about the conclusions arrived at from this work and finally the list of references is shown.