Having a Coke with You
by Frank O'Hara
Having a Coke with You Theme of Art and Culture
The speaker of "Having a Coke with You," is a recovering art buff. With casual references to "The Polish Rider," Futurism, Marino Marini, and more, we get the clear sense that this is someone who knows their stuff. We say "recovering," though, because, even though he knows his stuff, he doesn't think too much of it anymore. He's got love in his life now, and its wonders have shown him, in no uncertain terms, the futility of art. The speaker's leaving the world of art behind in favor of the wonderful lands of love.
Questions About Art and Culture
- Can paintings and statues be capable of motion, even if they're still? If so, do you know of any examples?
- Do you think the speaker is joking about "The Polish Rider," or do you think he may prefer it to his loved one? If so, how does that change the poem?
- Does all art have to involve the person you love in order to have value? How might the speaker answer this question?
- Is there anything that used to wow you, but that you're no longer into? If so, why have you moved on? Did love have anything to do with it? Do you miss whatever it is you've moved on from?
Chew on This
Even though it's just a representation, real art is every bit as capable of moving someone as a real, live person is. So there.
The speaker is not really done with art, entirely. He's just temporarily distracted by his love, and will some day return to his admiration of art. (He's just on a break, you see.)