Great post. Great blog. Don’t miss the link to: Lana Turner has Collapsed. I love this poem and had forgotten it. Many thanks, Andrew Epstein.
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
“Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)” is one of Frank O’Hara’s funniest and best-loved poems. With its campy treatment of a tabloid headline about a glamorous celebrity facing adversity, it’s often cited as an example of O’Hara’s embrace of pop culture and his affection for the cinema and its stars.
I assume the influential poem even has something to do with the unusual name of the excellent journal of poetry and commentary, Lana Turner, now on its sixth issue (I may be mistaken about that connection, but it’s one I can’t help but make).
As the oft-told story about the poem’s origin goes, O’Hara wrote it while he was on the way to give a reading with Robert Lowell at Wagner College on Staten Island. O’Hara didn’t care much for Lowell’s poetry, and as David Lehman tells it in The Last Avant-Garde, “O’Hara regarded the event as something…
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