Francis Russell O'Hara (June 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American poet who, along with John Ashbery, James Schuyler and Kenneth Koch, was a key member of what was known as the New York School of poetry. O'Hara's association with the Museum of Modern Art and painters like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and others became a source of inspiration for his highly original poetry.
- I went back to work and wrote a poem for this person. While I was writing it I was realizing that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born. It's a very exciting movement which will undoubtedly have lots of adherents. It puts the poem squarely between the poet and the person, Lucky Pierre style, and the poem is correspondingly gratified. The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages.
- Personism: A Manifesto, from The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara (1972).
- Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.
The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.
It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.
- Mayakovsky, st. 4, from Meditations in an Emergency (1957).
always embrace things, people earth
sky stars, as I do, freely and with
the appropriate sense of space.
- A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island (l. 64-67) (1958).
- The beauty of America, neither cool jazz nor devoured Egyptian
heroes, lies in
lives in the darkness I inhabit in the midst of sterile millions.
- Ode: Salute to the French Negro Poets (l. 34-36) (1960).
- 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
- Why I Am Not a Painter (l. 24-28) (1976).
Quotes about Frank O'Hara
- People I read a lot to my son were people like Robert Bly and Lucille Clifton, Frank O’Hara for some reason, Chinese poems, Japanese poems.
- Frankohara.org (official home page)
- FrankOHara.com (unofficial home page)
- Articles on Frank O'Hara at Poetry X   
- Modern American Poetry
- Crossroads: Tribute to Frank O'Hara
- Poems by Frank O'Hara
- Review of O’Hara’s Why I Am Not A Painter
- Academy of American Poets
- Jacket Magazine's Frank O'Hara feature
- Frank O'Hara Directory and Selected Poems
- Thomas Dreher: Traces: "whatdoyoumeanandhowdoyoumeanit". Frank O'Hara: The 'New York School' between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art
- Caleb Crain, "Frank O'Hara's 'Fired' Self," American Literary History, 1997
- Frank O'Hara's Photo & Gravesite