The last few months have seen an abundant amount of attention to the new 50th anniversary edition of Frank O’Hara’s collection Lunch Poems. Yesterday, NPR got in the act too, with a brief appreciation of the book by Tess Taylor, which begins:
Each poem in this jaunty, dazzled roving collection of verses is dated by year and yet the quintessential voice running through all of them is emphatically now. Walking, seeing hum-colored cabs, and chorus girls, and neon in daylight, but like one man that O’Hara spots hanging out in a doorway, these poems are also languorously agitating. They change the landscape of American poetry with their leaps, jettisoning verse forms to capture instead glimmering turns of thought. O’Hara’s I did-this-I-did-that method spoke to readers. The first 2,000 copies sold out within a year and the book has never gone out of print since.
You can hear, and read, the rest of the review here.