Monday, September 23, 2013

Analysis of "Poem" by Frank O'Hara

Original poem reprinted online here: "Poem" by Frank O'Hara
Originally read: April 26, 2013
More information about the Poet:  Frank O'Hara







I don't know if I could take this as a riff of a love poem, or as an awkward interesting love poem.  Actually, I don't know if I could take this as a love poem at all.  The drop down line isn't as angular as it could be, nor is the subject matter specific.  The poem is the line that straddles -- well -- any sort of connection and association to the poem.

So here's a cute line, "if it rains hard /on our toes."  And I mean cute in the most saccharine sense.  There's the pastoral love going on -- walking, oh it's raining -- but it's on  our feet, how interesting.    But I take this as sincere, not so much as a riff.  Yes, I might be bias against the line, but the focus on how the line is read.

In the second stanza, the description of the walk is a bit humorous with the focus on the we strolling like "poodles" then take a more physical absurdity of "be washed down a / gigantic scenic gutter."  Humorous and I think the stanza pokes fun of the idea of the scene interpreting the relationship i.e. birds in the sky singing -- then it's love.  The drop off line "that will be" is more of a reminder that this is more of a want sequence than a past lament or a present mistake.

The third stanza -- my focus went straight to the drop line of "maybe blood"  and I'm like, wait what.  Where does blood come into this.  Yes humorous, but the blood line is just, I don't know how it fits.  Especially in the context of the sentence, "Voyages are not / all like this you just put / your toes together"  yeah.

Furthermore, what makes the "blood" line so strange is that the metaphor continues with the hopes the blood gain "meaning."  Then the poem continues with, "and a trick / become slight in our keeping"  I'm confuses I guess, in context, these lines are a far departure from the riff on scenery; rather, they are more, well, like pirates?   No seriously, pirates.  Or something weird.  "Escaping from a dangerous situation?  Unwanted situation?  I was hoping time would clarify what I thought...no not really.

The last stanza focusing on the landscape and the sentiment of "we look back at each other / anxiously" fits with the idea the previous lines go along a surreal dangerous situation, and a previous cliche get together.  But I feel the blood metaphor is so out there and so strong that my mind tries to figure out what "blood" means.

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