Poems to share

Having a coke with you

An extract from “Having a coke with you” by Frank O’Hara:

…the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look

at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world…

You hear the full poem read by Frank O’Hara here:

“It’s a poem about sight and seeing, light and colour, referencing many great artworks but most of all it’s about looking at the person you love.”

Dean Atta, National Poetry Day Ambassador on why he chose O’Hara’s poem for the 2020 theme of Vision.

Frank O'Hara

(1926-1966) Frank O'Hara was an American writer, poet, and art critic. A curator at the Museum of Modern Art, O'Hara was the leader of the "New York School" of poets. His poetry was engaged with the worlds of music, dance, and painting. He devised an idea of poetic form that allowed the inclusion of many kinds of events, including everyday conversations and notes about New York advertising signs. Since his death in 1966 at age forty, the depth and richness of his achievements as a poet and art critic have been recognized by an international audience.

Photo credit: Renate Ponsold