Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ave Maria by Frank O'Hara

Amen.


Ave Maria

Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies
get them out of the house so they won't
know what you're up to
it's true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by
silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you
must
they won't hate you
they won't criticize you they won't know
they'll be in some glamorous
country
they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or
playing hookey
they may even be grateful to you
for their first sexual experience
which only cost you a quarter
and didn't upset the peaceful
home
they will know where candy bars come
from
and gratuitous bags of popcorn
as gratuitous as leaving the movie before
it's over
with a pleasant stranger whose apartment
is in the Heaven on
Earth Bldg
near the Williamsburg Bridge
oh mothers you will have made
the little
tykes
so happy because if nobody does pick
them up in the movies
they won't know the difference
and if somebody does it'll be
sheer gravy
and they'll have been truly entertained
either way
instead of hanging around the yard
or up in their room hating you
prematurely since you won't have done
anything horribly mean
yet
except keeping them from life's darker joys
it's unforgivable the latter
so don't blame me if you won't take this
advice
and the family breaks up
and your children grow old and blind in
front of a TV set
seeing
movies you wouldn't let them see when
they were young



Frank O'Hara became one of the most distinguished members of the New York School of poets, which also included John Ashbery, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch. O'Hara's association with the painters Larry Rivers, Jackson Pollock, and Jasper Johns, also leaders of the New York School, became a source of inspiration for his highly original poetry. He attempted to produce with words the effects these artists had created on canvas.

5 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

This is a poem that makes you feel good about your children. Great advice. Liz

3:39 PM  
Blogger ginger said...

no pressure, mom.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous life said...

This is a poem that makes you feel good about your children

8:38 PM  
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11:28 PM  
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