Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O'Hara
Frank O’Hara was one of the great poets of the twentieth century and, along with such widely acclaimed writers as Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, and Gary Snyder, a crucial contributor to what Donald Allen termed the New American Poetry, “which, by its vitality alone, became the dominant force in the American poetic tradition.”
Frank O’Hara was born in Baltimore in 1926 and grew up in New England; from 1951 he lived and worked in New York, both for Art News and for the Museum of Modern Art, where he was an associate curator. O’Hara’s untimely death in 1966 at the age of forty was, in the words of fellow poet John Ashbery, “the biggest secret loss to American poetry since John Wheelwright was killed.”.
This collection is a reissue of a volume first published by Grove Press in 1957, and it demonstrates beautifully the flawless rhythm underlying O’Hara’s conviction that to write poetry, indeed to live, “you just go on your nerve.”