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Lunch Poems  By  cover art

Lunch Poems

By: Frank O'Hara
Narrated by: Matthew Weiner
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Publisher's Summary

Frank O'Hara was a pioneering modern American poet and playwright - an art critic, a musician, and a curator at the Museum of Modern Art - who defined New York City in its post-WWII heyday. For many these poems defined the city's midcentury zeitgeist. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in remarks on the 50th anniversary edition, said that the poems "established a certain tone, a certain turn of phrase, a certain urbane wit, at once gay and straight, that came to identify the New York school of poets in the 1960s and '70s".

O'Hara's wit and cool inspired the creator of AMC's hit television show Mad Men decades later - and writer Matthew Weiner performs the poet's work with charm and reverence, adding his own unique spin on the classic material.

©1964 Frank O’Hara (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic Reviews

"Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems, the little black dress of American poetry books, redolent of cocktails and cigarettes and theater tickets and phonograph records, turns 50 this year. It seems barely to have aged.... This is a book worth imbibing again, especially if you live in Manhattan, but really if you're awake and curious anywhere. O'Hara speaks directly across the decades to our hopes and fears and especially our delights; his lines are as intimate as a telephone call. Few books of his era show less age." (Dwight Garner, The New York Times)

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Mismatched*~

O’Hara’s ‘Lunch Poems’ is a sprezzatura lyric masterpiece. It is gasp after gasp of sublime lyric metamorphosis in the middle of the breathless workday, and as such, ‘Lunch Poems’ speaks of beautiful resistance of the soul in otherwise soulless conditions.

This said, I do not feel the selected narrator was a good match for these poems. Neither the speed and delivery struck me as working in tandem with O’Hara. However, this narrator would definitely excellent with Kerouac or Bukowski.

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Dated but Fun!

The interesting part of these poems is all of the references to film stars, artists, musicians and writers of the Forties, Fifties and Sixties. His mentions of their names bring flashes of familiarity to the listener’s mind as do the scenes of New York City life of the Period: the Village, Times Square, The Met.

There’s something in his tone that sings of the bawdy, dissolute, sensual Lifestyle of the Art Scene denizens of the Time. Interesting to observe from the outside. Perilous to partake from within.

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I will always love him

I will always love him-- one of Murica's finest poets. Sit down & Read this too. Don't only Listen to it...

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Great poetry

Got to love the wry observations of Frank O'hara's poems and the musicality of his verse. The narration here is a bit dry, but it is serviceable. There's a lot of humanity captured here, and that's mostly the point of Poetry. Highly engaging and enjoyable.

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Great collection nicely read

Weiner reads every poem in the landmark City Lights publication of New York School poet Frank O’Hara; poems presumably written on the poet’s lunch break in the 1950s/60s while working at MOMA in midtown Manhattan. As a collection the poems offer an accurate and honest look at their time and place—a perspective not always flattering to the poet and his crowd. Wiener’s reading is good but a bit understated for my taste. Incidental jazz music is a nice touch and allows the listener a chance to absorb what they’ve just heard. Well worth your attention.

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Boo boo so bad jnjnjnjnjnjnjniminijiminimmnjn

This is so bad because it’s boring soooooooooooo bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad

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  • Adam
  • 12-03-21

excellent collection. terrible rendition.

oh the music of this collection feels lost on the voice that speaks it. so rushed. diction and cadence so lacking in precision. a tired hammer on piano keys.