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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

As a member of the literary Beat generation, Frank O'Hara was all about the conversation. By that, we mean that he wanted to capture the rhythms of everyday spoken speech in his poetry. He wasn't t...

Speaker

At the risk of stating the obvious, our speaker is in love. Big time. With you. Well, he's in love with "you," the addressee in this poem, not you personally. Still, that makes a big difference to...

Setting

The setting of "Having a Coke with You" is pretty specific. Here we are in New York City, home to the Frick collection and many other wonderful museums of art. We even know what time it is. It's 4...

Sound Check

This poem really rolls off the tongue, and that's no accident. It's designed to mimic the patterns of spoken speech. Basically, the whole thing reads like a one-sided conversation, in which the spe...

What's Up With the Title?

The title, "Having a Coke with You," does a lot of jobs in this poem. In its most simple terms, it tells us what the poem is going to be about. It sets the scene: speaker + you + Coke = poem. Got i...

Calling Card

Like his friends and fellow writers in the Beat generation and the New York School, Frank O'Hara was all about capturing the tone of everyday, spoken speech in his writing. The idea was pretty radi...

Tough-o-Meter

Since it was meant to be conversational, this poem is really accessible and easy to follow for most readers. The most challenging thing about reading O'Hara's poem is that it's addressed to a "you"...

Trivia

Frank O'Hara served as a sonarman on a U.S. Navy destroyer in World War II (boop… boop… boop). (Source.)He studied music at Harvard College, but later changed his major to English. We guess he...

Steaminess Rating

Love, love, love. This poem has it to spare. Lust, though? Not so much. "Having a Coke with You" is clearly about romantic love, but it's about the emotional side of things, not the physical side.

Allusions

"The Polish Rider" (15)The Frick Collection (15)Futurism (17)"Nude Descending a Staircase" (18)Leonardo Da Vinci (19)Michelangelo (19)Impressionists (20) Marino Marini (22)
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