|Meditations In An Emergency Ranked|
Just read through Meditations In An Emergency by Frank O'Hara a few times (a collection of poetry published in 1957 in the vein of Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, etc.). Just thought I'd narrow it down to my 10 favorites. I'll try and offer up a little explanation for the rankings, but his stuff is very abstract and pretty hard to interpret, so some of this list is based solely on my enjoyment of how the words are placed together, not necessarily the meaning that they convey. Albums are digs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_O'Hara#Poetry
For Grace, After a Party - The narrator is pondering why he keeps his feelings bottled up, but for some reason being in a strange setting incites anger from these emotions. And in the middle of the piece he's suddenly transported to a bed after a night of (presumably) lovemaking with the person who caused those feelings in the first place. However, after being asked if he would like his eggs a little differently today "they arrive [and] are just plain scrambled eggs". Perhaps this person wasn't all they were cracked up to be? It's also sequenced in a very intriguing way
Last Fair Deal Gone Down
To the Harbormaster - "I am always tying up and then deciding to depart". This one seems to very simply be about wanting very badly to connect with someone, but always having a force pushing against that desire. O'Hara also makes use of what I think is a very effective metaphor of being a Harbormaster never quite being able to cross the water to his destination.
The Weak and The Wounded
Blocks - An observation of different levels of life, and told in a very interesting way. The wordplay is really good, with great deliberation. And after decrying youth raised in a rich household (I think), has them "[growing] like giggling fir trees". Seems that he's pointing out that even though they are inherently worse as people, their economic situation grants them license for happiness (perhaps undeservedly).
The Hunter - The imagery in this one is magnificent. You really feel as if you're right beside this hunter as he chases the chamois. It takes a sharp turn at the end though as he thinks that "[He has] come to rule" the forest, and this causes the chamois to immediately come out and humiliate the Hunter, maybe for his naivete in thinking he could rule the forest. I'm not sure how they did it but it obviously worked.
Radio - This one basically hits home because for 3 1/2 stanzas O'Hara just complains that there's nothing on the radio. I feel ya Frank.
|6||Bohren & Der Club Of Gore|
Meditations In An Emergency - This one covers a lot of territory, from only wanting boundless love, to finding the city more comforting than the country, but I mainly like it because it's just so easy to read. Everything melds together perfectly, and even though I'm still trying to delineate what all happens, it's just fun to read.
|7||The Mothers of Invention|
On Rachmaninoff's Birthday - Just an ode to how important the works of Rachmaninoff were to him. It feels very sincere, from the bottom of O'Hara's heart.
Defenders of the Faith
River - Never has the tide washing over a person seemed so important. O'Hara takes a seemingly simple event and turns it into a very beautiful piece of literature.
Romanze, or The Music Students - This one's sort off ironic in that music appears to be (mentally) transporting the students to a happier, care-free, Hawaii, but when they are awoken from this apparent trance, everything becomes again the snowy wasteland of Ann Arbor at their Conservatory. Odd that the very thing they are dreading to study provides them relief.
Les Etiquettes jaunes - The most whimsical and light-hearted of the whole book, as the narrator simply thinks of scolding a leaf for falling in Autumn, but doesn't have the courage to actually tell the leaf... It's laughable, but memorable.