The ever-present influence of Frank O’Hara’s poetry on popular culture

1960s: Days of Rage

“Alongside poets such as Barbara Guest, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara was a leading figure in the New York School of Poets, active during the 1950s and 1960s. As an art curator at the Museum of Modern Art, O’Hara bridged a gap between the city’s poets and artists, often writing during his lunch breaks, resulting in his seminal 1964 collection, Lunch Poems. His deep involvement in the art world informed his poetry, as did his life in New York, capturing everyday moments and conversations with beauty and celebration. Perhaps his most famous poem, ‘Having a Coke With You’ epitomises O’Hara’s delighting attitudes best. He writes: ‘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…

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