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Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]

Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]


by Frank O'Hara

Lines 10-13 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 10-11

and suddenly I see a headline

  • The speaker doesn't provide us with too much information here. He sees a headline (presumably on a newspaper) announcing Lana Turner's collapse. He doesn't narrate the moment in much detail.
  • The news of Lana Turner's collapse hits him hard, though. Perhaps this is why O'Hara has capitalized the headline. (Or maybe he's just mimicking the newspaper's style.)
  • There's also another "suddenly" in these lines. Our speaker is apparently easily surprised. This is strange, because...
  • Line 11 is a repetition of the first line of the poem. At first we didn't know who was speaking or why. But when the line appears the second time, it seems more meaningful, because we know a little bit more about our speaker and his life. It's also part of the story the speaker is telling. The words appear as a headline; they're not just thrown at us without context, as they are at the beginning of the poem.
  • The words in a headline are a strange kind of speech. Unlike the beginning of the poem, which seems to be addressed to a single person, the newspaper headline is addressed to the world. So the newspaper headline is a kind of public, impersonal speech, as opposed to the private, personal speech between the speaker and the addressee.

Lines 12-13

there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California

  • The headline has jarred the speaker out of his little tiff with the addressee, and he now starts thinking about the differences between his life in New York (we're guessing it's New York because that's where O'Hara was living when he wrote this poem) and Lana Turner's in Hollywood. It's raining and snowing in New York, which never happens in Hollywood (according to the speaker).
  • Is the speaker being accurate? Well, it's true that it hardly ever snows in Hollywood (only in the mountains of California). But it certainly does rain throughout California. So the speaker is being hyperbolic here; he's exaggerating to point out the differences between New York and California. (Check out our poetry glossary for more on hyperbole.)
  • O'Hara's parallel phrases "there is no snow..." and "there is no rain...", which both begin the same way, add to the exaggerated feeling of the lines.

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