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Joan Mitchell & Frank O’Hara – A Look at Their Friendship

  • Frank and Joan

    See more on Joan Mitchell installaion and her friendship with Frank O’Hara here (Poetry installaton)

    At last you are tired of being single
    the effort to be new does not upset you nor the effort to be other
    you are not tired of life together (Frank’s poem to Joan Mitchell)

    Click to see large 1941
    Joan Mitchel was a junior champion.

    During high school, Mitchell excels as an athlete and becomes a highly competitive figure skater, entering Midwestern and national championships. In 1941, Mitchell wins the Midwest Junior Pairs Title with ice-skating partner Bobby Specht, and in 1942, she places Fourth in the Junior Women’s Division of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. A knee injury later ends her skating career. – See more here

    Trained as a pianist, he called writing “playing the typewriter.

  • Joan Mitchell and Barney Rosset Joan Mitchell Painting(Part II of Barney/Michell archive)

  • To the Habormaster – Joan’s reponse to Frank O’Hara

    To the Harbormaster (Poem by Frank O’Hara)

    I wanted to be sure to reach you;

    though my ship was on the way it got caught

    in some moorings. I am always tying up
    and then deciding to depart. In storms and
    at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
    around my fathomless arms, I am unable
    to understand the forms of my vanity
    or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
    in my hand and the sun sinking. To
    you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
    of my will. The terrible channels where
    the wind drives me against the brown lips
    of the reeds are not all behind me. Yet
    I trust the sanity of my vessel; and
    if it sinks, it may well be in answer
    to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
    the waves which have kept me from reaching you.

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