Friday, February 12, 2021

Poetry Friday: Frank O'Hara's "Having a Coke with You"

This seems like just the right poem for saying happy anniversary (our 37th last month) and happy Valentine's Day to Atticus. We've been having Cokes together for over 40 years, so I guess this thing is going to last. 

Having a Coke with You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, 
Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in 
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier 
St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for 
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people 
and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything 
as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in

(Read the rest here, at 


The round up is being hosted by Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone

(Photo courtesy of Athena at Pexels.) 


Tabatha said...

Really enjoyed this poem! A very romantic pick :-) I found a song (mostly instrumental) inspired by it:

Karen Edmisten said...

Tabatha, I agree it doesn't start off sounding romantic, with the talk of being sick to one's stomach. :D However, I love the everydayness of it, and I love these lines:

it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

And thanks for finding that song!

Alan j Wright said...

Karen, this poem is most interesting in its construction. it begins as a stream of consciousness and expressions of love irrepressibly pop up and out. I enjoyed the use of repetition and sense of ambling through someone else's experiences. Thank you for sharing Frank Ohara's poem

Tabatha said...

I wasn't being sarcastic! I did think it was very romantic.

Linda B said...

I was going to share that passage "It's hard to believe", too, Karen. I love the poem in its outrageous and loving hyperbole, yet oh so true. Happy Anniversary!

Karen Edmisten said...

I misunderstood you, Tabatha! I thought you were winking at the sick stomach, lol! :) And again, I love that you found that song. It was such an interesting piece and I had no idea it was out there.

Alan, yes to "expressions of love irrepressibly pop up and out." Perfect.

Linda, I agree on all counts, and thank you!

Linda Mitchell said...

Such a great Valentine's Day poem. I love this one! xo

Kay said...

What a great Valentine's poem--and happy anniversary!

mbhmaine said...

What a moving love poem! I love the "popping out" of expressions of love that Alan noted and the whole meandering experience of the poem. Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing this poem--Perfect for this Valentine's Day weekend.

Ruth said...

"they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it"

A perfect statement of one of the reasons we write - so these marvelous experiences are not wasted on us! <3