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Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]

Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]


by Frank O'Hara

Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!] Theme of Admiration

The speaker's love for (and slight obsession with) Lana Turner and celebrity culture is the heart of this poem. He's definitely put her on a pedestal. And if we zoom out a bit, we see that for O'Hara himself, the collapse of Hollywood celebrity is worth writing a poem about.

Most poems about public figures are a bit more dignified; poets often write about kings and presidents, about people who changed the world in significant ways. O'Hara elevates a Hollywood actress to this level of admiration.

She is even elevated above the speaker's companion. The original addressee of the poem seems to disappear when the news of Lana hits the scene. But he does seem to acknowledge the silliness of it all – we feel a knowing smile behind the last line of the poem.

Questions About Admiration

  1. Is Lana Tuner more important to the speaker than the original addressee of the poem is?
  2. How does the speaker's fascination with celebrity culture affect him? What impact does this fascination have on his daily life?
  3. Is it possible to feel close to someone you've never met?
  4. Does the speaker take Lana's collapse seriously, or does he acknowledge that the whole situation is kind of silly? How do you know?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The poem suggests that the speaker's admiration of Lana Turner is a way to escape the banality of everyday life.

The poem suggests that absorbing celebrity gossip is as much a part of daily life as walking down the street.

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