Poets are capable of expressing their feelings to the people because of their ability to choose words and utilize diverse styles when writing poems. In fact, they ensure that the words that are used convey the intended message to the right audience. Although some of them may choose to use metaphors, others, such as O’Hara have used direct language, repetition, and enjambment in some of their poems. Evidently, O’Hara’s poem, Having a Coke with You, supports the view that poems can be as direct and private as a phone dialogue. Such poems focus on describing poet’s feelings toward his or her audience. In my view, I posit, Having a Coke with You, poem authored by Frank O’Hara, should be read as someone who expresses his love toward her lover through art. It is evident that O’Hara has used direct language in the poem, which is similar to using conversation and plays around with indirect references to art.

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O’Hara uses direct language to describe his affection for Warren. Direct speech is evident in the manner in which he addresses his lover. He speaks and reveals this when he articulates, “…partly because of the secrecy our smiles take in before people and statuary…” (O’hara, 2008, par. 1). O’Hara directly explains the impact of their secret smiles on people. In the entire stanza, he tells the details of his love for Warren and compares it with his individual activities in Spain as well as great works of Western art. What many readers ask is the reason O’Hara compares his love with some cities in Spain. Here, he seeks to compare art with real life experience of a lover’s company and beauty. The expression that the poet uses shows his deep affection to Warren. In fact, direct language and repetition that is prevalent in the poem are used to emphasize the love he has for his lover.

O’Hara’s poem has not been punctuated, something that makes it difficult for readers to understand. Evidently, not a single line has been punctuated. There are no crucial punctuation marks, such as commas, question marks, and full stops. Sentences have also begun in lower case. The absence of end punctuation marks, as well as the use of lower case beginning of statements, has been used to inform readers that all ideas and perceptions in the poem are equal. Additionally, they show that the poem is a spontaneous expression of O’Hara’s emotions.

O’Hara uses repetition and enjambment in the poem to create the poetic effect. A phrase, such as “partly because” (O’hara, 2008, par. 1), has been repeated more than three times. The repetition in the third line indicates that it is easy for O’Hara to be happier than a man who’s typically shown in art doing his individual and depressing imitation. In the first stanza, O’Hara catalogs reasons having a Coke with Warren is better than everything else is. The repetition is useful in accumulating details and developing a rhythm for the poem, something that creates a sense of intimacy. In addition to developing confidence, repetition is used to introduce the genuineness of the poet’s allegations. Regarding enjambment, he uses them to give readers a chance to pause. It is explicit line one, “is, even more, fun than going to San Sebastian, Irun, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne”, (O’hara, 2008, par. 1), which is picked right up from where the topic is left off, Having a Coke with You (O’hara, 2008, par. 1). A pause and then a return method are used to remind readers formally that effort has been put regarding what the poet has to say. Besides, it gives O’Hara an opportunity to draw his thoughts separately and outline them within themselves.

In conclusion, the observations made from O’Hara’s poem are not only useful in analyzing it, but also in examining texts that concern music in the future. In fact, some of the things observed, such as the use of repetition, direct language, and enjambment are also helpful in music. Repetition will be critical in emphasizing a particular message in a musical text, while enjambment will be useful to give writers time to reorganize their thoughts.

  • O’Hara, F. (2008). Having a Coke with You. Retrieved from http://edwardbyrne.blogspot.com/2008/06/frank-ohara-having-coke-with-you.html