Study Guide

Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!] Quotes

By Frank O'Hara

  • Admiration

    Lana Turner has collapsed! (1)

    Okay, so it's clear that Lana Turner is important to our speaker – the poem begins with a reference to her. We find out about her collapse even before we know who the speaker is, where he is, who he's with, and so on. And the speaker expects us to know who she is; Lana Turner's a movie star, after all. He assumes that his readers love celebrity culture as much as he does.


    Thanks, Frank, for reminding us. The speaker hasn't mentioned Lana since the first line of the poem, but here she comes roaring back into it. The headline almost screams at us to pay attention: a terrible thing has happened to a beautiful woman!

    oh Lana Turner we love you get up (17)

    In these lines, the speaker, perhaps with a knowing little smile, boldly states his love for a celebrity who he's never met. He addresses her directly, as if she could actually hear him. Maybe he's a little nuts, or maybe he just wants to send some good vibes to Lana. Either way, he speaks as if he actually knows Lana – the object of his admiration – personally.

  • Language and Communication

    you said it was hailing
    but hailing hits you on the head
    hard so it was really snowing
    and raining (4-7)

    In these lines, the speaker and his companion have an argument about the weather. This argument is silly, for sure, but it's an example of private speech between people who know each other well. It's probably not all that interesting to anyone besides the two of them, but it seems important to them all the same.


    Unlike the private argument in the earlier lines, this line is public speech. It's a newspaper headline, intended for a mass audience, as opposed to an intimate audience of one. Think about the differences here between private speech with a friend or loved one and public speech for mass consumption.

    oh Lana Turner we love you get up (17)

    Here the speaker makes an apostrophe to Lana Turner (see "Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay"). He talks to her as if she can actually hear him – which, of course, she can't. Is this private speech or public speech? Why does the speaker say "we" instead of "I"?

  • Art and Culture

    Lana Turner has collapsed! (1)

    The speaker begins by informing us of the collapse of a movie star. It's an unexpected topic for a poem, but O'Hara seems to think that celebrity gossip and poems might be more compatible than we think.


    Okay, we get it – it's really important that this movie star has collapsed. It's dramatic! It's nuts! It's changed the course of your day! It's an important event that needs to be memorialized in a poem! (Or is it? What do you think?)

    oh Lana Turner we love you get up (17)

    The speaker might be winking at us a bit here. His apostrophe to Lana might be a little overblown. It seems like he's admitting that this is a silly topic for a poem. Or is he?