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I want to get my mom another (smaller) present, I already have her something really special that I know she’ll love but I also want to get her something else. I thought of this a while ago after she took a painting class at a coffee shop in our town and what she came home with was really amazing—she’s a wonderful painter, she just never does it or finds the time. She also has anxiety issues and is incredibly full of stress all the time and she says painting relieves a bit of that, so my point is, what basics should I get her so that she can keep painting at home? Brush types, any brands? should I get her a notebook or a couple of canvasses…?
“ I am not a painter, I am a poet. Why? I think I would rather be a painter, but I am not. Well, for instance, Mike Goldberg is starting a painting. I drop in. "Sit down and have a drink" he says. I drink; we drink. I look up. "You have SARDINES in it." "Yes, it needed something there." "Oh." I go and the days go by and I drop in again. The painting is going on, and I go, and the days go by. I drop in. The painting is finished. "Where's SARDINES?" All that's left is just letters, "It was too much," Mike says. But me? One day I am thinking of a color: orange. I write a line about orange. Pretty soon it is a whole page of words, not lines. Then another page. There should be so much more, not of orange, of words, of how terrible orange is and life. Days go by. It is even in prose, I am a real poet. My poem is finished and I haven't mentioned orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES. ”—Frank O’Hara- I Am Not a Painter
—Allegra Goodman, La Vita Nuova
“La Vita Nuova” explained how to become a great poet. The secret was to fall in love with a perfect girl but never speak to her. You should weep instead. You should pretend that you love someone else. You should write sonnets in three parts. Your perfect girl should die.
AN INCOMPARABLE WARMTH AND HUMANITY
—Joan Acocella, Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints
Boyfriends aside, he finds a thousand things to like. Ballet dancers fly through his verse. Taxi drivers tell him funny things. Zinka Milanov sings, the fountains splash. The city honks at him and he honks back. This willingness to be happy is one of the things for which O’Hara is most loved, and rightly so. It is a fundamental aspect of his moral life, and the motor of his poetry. Even Ward, whose book is a poststructuralist study, offering us the unlooked-for experience of seeing O’Hara analyzed in relation to polysemy, differential valorization, and French gyno-criticism, finally throws up his hands. “The poetry of Frank O’Hara has an incomparable warmth and humanity,” he exclaims. “It is only through such poetry that people in the future will think that life in New York City in the fifties and sixties must have been good.” Ward is a professor at the University of Liverpool. I hope he has tenure. This is not the way a poststructuralist analysis is supposed to end.
Eres hija del mar y prima del orégano,
nadadora, tu cuerpo es de agua pura,
cocinera, tu sangre es tierra viva
y tus costumbres son floridas y terrestres.
Al agua van tus ojos y levantan las olas,
a la tierra tus manos y saltan las semillas,
en agua y tierra tienes propiedades profundas
que en ti se juntan como las leyes de la greda.
Náyade, corta tu cuerpo la turquesa
y luego resurrecto florece en la cocina
de tal modo que asumes cuanto existe
y al fin duermes rodeada por mis brazos que apartan
de la sormbra sombría, para que tú descanses,
legumbres, algas, hierbas: la espuma de tus sueños.
—Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XXXIV