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ODES - Frank O'Hara


O’HARA (Frank). ODES. 

First edition. 8vo., unpaginated [30pp.], in stapled illustrated wrappers. This copy marked in the front endpaper ex-libris poet Kenneth L Irby, August 1969, Berkeley.
N.p [New York], The Poet’s Press, 1969.

Wrapper rather browned at edges with rusted staples and a long crease on the verso.
A key collection first published in 1960 in a special edition with prints by Michael Goldberg and Goldberg also contributes the cover and title page design here. O’Hara dedicates Odes to his New York painter pals including Goldberg, de Kooning and the opening 'Ode on Causality’ written in memory of Pollock. The early 1960s was a particularly productive period for O’Hara while he was employed as Curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA. The traditional Ode form was one that the poet used with characteristic invention and elasticity. His tone moves from triumphant silliness to some unusual polemical writing with an Ode in ‘Salute to the French Negro Poets’ commenting on the state of American race relations.

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