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The Exploration of the Secret Smile

The Language of Art and of Homosexuality in Frank O'Hara's Poetry


Alice C. Parker

This study of the work of the New York poet Frank O'Hara (1926-1966) emphasizes a largely overlooked aspect of O'Hara's poetics: the aspect of the urban homosexual, or gay, experience. It also emphasizes his frequent fusion of the aesthetics of poetry with the aesthetics of the visual arts. Revealing the importance of the deliberately (given the societal «mood» of the '50s and '60s) sedimented homosexual meaning in O'Hara's poetry, as well as the importance of the art of the Abstract Expressionists, The Exploration of the Secret Smile offers a new outlook on the congruence of his poetic canon.
Contents: Introduction - The Performance of the Visual - Earlier Diverse Secret Smiles : Convaty and Whitman - The Exploration of the Smile - Conclusion - Notes - Bibliography - Index of Titles.