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Frank O’Hara & Bill Berkson – Hymns of St. Bridget

August 3rd, 2016
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    With Frank Ohara

    In a biographical note he wrote for An Anthology of New York Poets (edited by Ron Padgett and David Shapiro in 1970), Berkson paid tribute to O’Hara’s deep influence on him:

    General ‘cultural’ education through friendship with Frank O’Hara: the Stravinsky-Balanchine Agon (and Edwin Denby’s essay on it), Satie (we created four-hand ‘annoyances’ at various apartments, once played for Henze in Rome), Feldman, Turandot, a certain Prokofiev toccato, Virgil Thomson (I had heard a recording of Four Saints at Harry Smith’s, Providence, 1957), movies … we read Wyatt together, recited Racine, skipped through galleries, collaborated on The Hymns of St. Bridget 1961-64, a note on Reverdy for Mercure de France 1961.

    As he later told Brad Gooch, “I listened hard to what he said about poetry, about all the arts, about people, about living.”

  • Read For the Chinese New Year & for Bill Berkson by Frank O’Hara here.

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    Hymns St Bridget (jacket)

    Hymns Of St. Bridget begins simply enough in October 1960 as the first collaboration between Bill Berkson and Frank O’Hara — from there it multiplies energetically into an ongoing exchange between Berkson and O’Hara that includes the FYI poems, The Letters of Angelicus and Fidelio, and Marcia: An Unfinished Novel.

    Bill Berkson (1939–2016)

    Wiki

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    With Ron Padgett

    via

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

    February 12th, 2014
  • 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.

    Frank O’Hara – Part II

    June 29th, 2005

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    <> <> <> <> <> Frank O'hara LunchIn Memory of My Feelings. Frank O’Hara Limited Edition (via)

  • Reading Frank O’Hara on the Brighton Beach Express by John McCullough.

  • In Memory of My Feelings – Frank O’Hara

    June 27th, 2005

    Frank O’Hara as New York Poet, Museum Modern Art Curator, Art News critic, occupied a central stage in the 50’s to 60’s art world. Larry Rivers described him as a professional hand holder and his fee was love.
    Both NYTimes and wikipedia records June 27 as Frank O’Hara’s birthday. His actual birthday was March 27. He was an Aries and not a Cancer. (via “The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara by Brad Gooch). Poems he wrote about his birthday only reinforced the misinformation created by his parents to cover up the fact he was conceived before their marriage.

    Frank O’hara Frank O'hara (via) By Alex Katz

    In Memory of My Feelings

    And now it is the serpent’s turn.
    I am not quite you, but almost the opposite of visionary.
    You are coiled around the central figure,
    the heart
    that bubbles with red ghosts, since to move is to love
    and the scrutiny of all things is syllogistic,
    the startled eyes of the dikdik, the bush full of white flags
    fleeing a hunter,
    which is our democracy
    but the prey
    is always fragile and like smething, as a seashell can be
    a great Courbet, if it wishes. To bend the ear of the outer world.

    When O’Hara wrote this poem he never worried about democracy in America, but words like ” the bush full of white flags fleeing a hunter, which is our demorcracy ….” pop out with strange effect for today’s readers.

    “He was inspired and energized by New York City as other poets have been inspired and energized by nature. In Meditations he wrote, “I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there’s a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life.” (These words were inscribed on the railings at the Battery Park alongside Walt Whitman’s poem) He described his work as “I do this I do that” poetry because his poems often read like entries in a diary, as in this line from ” The Day Lady Died“: “it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine.”
    “He was our Apollinaire.” Philip Guston said at Frank’s funeral. Edward Gorey who was his roommate at Harvard said that he was living on the edge. Like Pasolini they both received injuries on the beach, though O’Hara’s was a freak accident and not murder.

    Summer Couch Willem De Kooning by De Kooning

    “Well, I have my beautiful de Kooning
    to aspire to. I think it has an orange
    bed in it, more than the ear can hold ” (via)

    O’Hara died of injuries he received when he was hit by a vehicle on the beach at Fire Island. (via)
    De Kooning,who had arrived with a big checkbook offering to pay for everything, found Frank O’Hara in great pain….”De Kooning came out crying” recalls a friend. “I ‘ve never seen him like that , just weeping. When we went in we realized Frank was not going to live. He looked like a Francis Bacon.” (page 463, The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara by Brad Gooch)

    A Tribute to O’Hara (via - many other great links are included from this page)

    Autobiographia Literaria and many more famous poems, in here, for funny read Lines for the Fortune Cookies.

    “The Last Clean Shirt” – a film by Frank O’Hara and Alfred Leslie.
    Morning a blog entry of Frank’s poem last year.

    “On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday” is featured at Point and Counterpoint with Frank O’Hara, Part III (Ting Alley)