Having a Coke with You
by Frank O'Hara
Having a Coke with You Appearances Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them (11-12)
Appearance is not entirely positive in this poem. As he reflects on the joys of being in love, our speaker becomes disenchanted with the effect that visual art has on him. It's like the appearance of these fine works has just lost its mojo. Their appearance fundamentally changes, and they aren't wondrous works of beauty anymore. They just look like… paint.
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world (13-14)
All together now: Awww. We don't know about you, but to us this compliment stands out as the most meaningful in this poem full of compliments. It's clear that the speaker is a visual arts nut, but he's now saying that the appearance of all of those portraits just can't hold a candle to the appearance of his beloved. If that won't get you brownie points, we don't know what will.
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank (20-21)
Here is the speaker's fundamental gripe with visual arts. Despite their best efforts to represent the appearance of the world, artists like the Impressionists are missing the point. It's not about representing life. The goal is just to live it.