The Day Lady Died
by Frank O'Hara
The Day Lady Died Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: line
It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine (lines 1-3)
This poem is all over the place with respect to time. Most of the poem is narrated in the present, but there are odd references to the past, like the remark that it's "three days after Bastille Day."
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don't know the people who will feed me (lines 4-6)
The poem looks into the future. Still no mention of memory or the deep past. Think about how strange these lines are: this poem is about the death of an artistic hero, and yet the speaker is worried about what he's going to eat.