Reading Sophie Robinson through Frank O’Hara's ‘Ploop!’

Kane, Daniel (2019) Reading Sophie Robinson through Frank O’Hara's ‘Ploop!’. Textual Practice. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0950-236X

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Abstract

Frank O’Hara’s 1959 ‘POEM (Wouldn’t it be funny)’, is, at first glance, adamantly minor and willfully juvenile. And yet, as I argue in the first section of this essay,
O’Hara’s ‘POEM’ and related works have much to say about abjection and silliness as a form of politics. O’Hara’s texts also serve to repudiate the romantic equation of poet as prophet that through the 1950s and 1960s
defined writers as various as Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas. O’Hara upends poets’ efforts both to represent a falsely universalised human condition and, correspondingly, to frame poetry as hierarchically superior to other artistic genres. The second section of the essay notes O’Hara’s prominence in the United Kingdom and moves on to consider specifically how O’Hara’s poetry has influenced the work of Sophie Robinson, a significant
figure in British innovative poetry networks. Robinson, this essay concludes, positively applies and adapts O’Hara’s invocation of the abject to her own project, in part by advancing a progressive politics that appears however complexly and elusively in her verse.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Frank O'Hara; Sophie Robinson; New York School; poetry; poetics; the abject
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for American Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0111 Women authors
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0500 Poetry
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0301 Poetry
Depositing User: Daniel Kane
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 08:17
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 11:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/88703

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