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Digressions on Some Poems by Frank O'Hara: A Memoir

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
An unprecedented eyewitness account of the New York School, as seen between the lines of O' Hara' s poetry
Joe LeSueur lived with Frank O' Hara from 1955 until 1965, the years when O' Hara wrote his greatest poems, including " To the Film Industry in Crisis, " " In Memory of My Feelings, " " Having a Coke with You, " and the famous Lunch Poems-- so called because O' Hara w
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 2003)
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Michelle Donnelly
Feb 22, 2008 Michelle Donnelly rated it it was amazing
I find myself bringing this book up in conversation all the time! A tender and loving portrait, of not only a set of a poet I love and his friends, but a version of New York City where everything was possible.
Oct 28, 2007 Cory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intimate meditation on O'Hara's poems written by his former roommate (and occasional lover). Sometimes catty, sometimes moving, always deeply personal, this is a lovely find.
Dec 05, 2009 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe LeSueur's memoir of his friend and companion, is a truly illuminating portrait of the artist. What makes these digressions so rich and rewarding for the reader, is the unique perspective LeSueur is able to bring to this material. These are LeSueur's memories of experiences and events shared with O'Hara and their myriad of friends and acquaintances. I found this book to be compelling, intimate and inspiring (indeed, "Lunch Poems" and "Selected Poems" were never too far out of reach, and both ...more
Nov 02, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
Memoirs like these can sometimes seem a little pitiful, like a desperate grab at a great writer's estate (I think one of Keroac's wives published one recently that really exemplified this). But though Joe LeSueuer's achievements pale in comparison to his subject's, he's aware enough to pass this off with honesty and humor, making the memoir not pitiful at all, but warm and personal. His very intimate, very--as the title implies--digressive style works perfectly to illuminate the social milieu su ...more
John Blee
Apr 28, 2015 John Blee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the style of O'Hara himself. A wonderful and loving feat of recollection.
Aug 08, 2012 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating glimpse into a time and place about which I knew next to nothing, and a compelling window into O'Hara's poetry. (I'm excited to go back and read his work again. There's a pretty wide gulf between the stuff I love and the stuff I can't stand, and I wonder how having a better grasp of his story might affect my reading of his poetry.) I'm generally all for digressions, but I wish this book had been just a bit tighter. I liked the approach, though, and the beginning of the book was esp ...more
Jun 20, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book made me fall in love with frank all over again. or for the first time. sort of. i mean, him. not just his poems. and his poems. and fabulous nyc in the 50s. and if you ever wanted to know what it was like to be gay and to be an artist or to be gay and in nyc or to be an artist in nyc or any combo of the above (mid-century of course), this is the book for you.
Jan 09, 2013 Tosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fascinating document regarding the poet Frank O'Hara. I try to read books regarding the New York School of Poetry - but they are hard to come by. It was a fascinating subculture type of world. Lots of martini's, paintings, painters, and other poets. O'Hara was the king in his circle and rightfully so. Wonderful poet.
Mar 07, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book on Frank O'Hara. Funny and chock-full of great anecdotes and insightful readings, all conjured up by one of O'Hara's closest friends. What more do you need?
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