Adam's Reviews > Meditations in an Emergency

Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O'Hara
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's review
Jul 03, 12

bookshelves: 1900-1969, poetry
Read in July, 2012

One of the great 20th century books of poetry. Deserves some notice for its formal qualities, but, perhaps to its credit, O'Hara's poetry really hits at the gut level. It is beautiful, melancholy, funny, and deeply human; intellectual, but not straining after intellect, sad but not mopey, fairly unconventional but tastefully restrained.

The finest poems here are "For James Dean," "Meditations in an Emergency," "Mayakovsky," and "For Grace, After a Party."

" Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern."

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