Read e-book online Poetry for Students, Vol. 34 PDF

By Sara Constantakis, David J. Kelly

ISBN-10: 1414441827

ISBN-13: 9781414441825

ISBN-10: 1414449550

ISBN-13: 9781414449555

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Example text

His romance with the irrational, his love of the dark (‘‘you just let all the different bodies fall where they may, and they always do’’), served as a primary trigger for his subjects. For an ironic imagination like O’Hara’s (whose stance often walks the thin line between playfulness and cleverness, sentimentality and posturing, openness and repression), tone drives the poems, the way music and story drive the ironies of a more formal poet like Philip Larkin. But O’Hara’s Modernism and his connection with abstract expressionist painters and pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein (Marjorie Perloff’s important early study of O’Hara, A Poet Among Painters, explores this connection) gave him license to translate painterly problems into poetry: so action paintings became poems in perpetual motion (accomplished by enjambments and long breathless sentences); tonal issues (dramatized by color in painting) were pursued with a broad range of dictions; and, like many postmodern texts and paintings that would follow him, O’Hara made use of Lichtenstein’s comic book studies and Rothko’s somber abstractions, blurring the lines between high and low culture.

Stanza 8 The marriage broker explains that the young man saw Natasha by the town gate the previous evening. She tells stories and drops hints over tea and cakes, encouraging Natasha and her father to agree to the marriage. Natasha is uncomfortable with the idea but stays quiet. The groom steps from the carriage, and the feast begins. There are rounds of toasts for the happy couple, and people begin to feel drunk. Shouts and singing break out. The second half of stanza 13 (lines 101–104) the bridegroom addresses the crowd, asking why, in the middle of all of this merriment, Natasha is not serving her guests and not eating or drinking.

Then onto the avenue where skirts are flipping above heels and blow up over grates. And when ‘‘everything suddenly honks’’ though he’s conscious of time, he’s completely 1 6 The moment is funny but also existentially absurd. Indeed, the whole question of function, which the speaker was casual about early on in the poem, begins to perplex. ’’ But the Puerto Rican is a stranger, unnamed, an objet d’art; all this consciousness of time and beauty and warmth brings him inextricably to his lost artist friends.

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Poetry for Students, Vol. 34 by Sara Constantakis, David J. Kelly

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