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Frank O'Hara - Why I Am Not A Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 10784 times | Comments and analysis of Why I Am Not A Painter by Frank O'Hara Comments (2)

Why I Am Not A Painter - Comments and Information

Poet: Frank O'Hara
Poem: Why I Am Not A Painter
Poem of the Day: Jan 25 2008

Comment 2 of 2, added on January 3rd, 2012 at 5:30 AM.

Son of a gun, this is so heplufl!

Lanette from Bahrain
Comment 1 of 2, added on February 2nd, 2008 at 7:46 AM.

great poem. the last line rules:)


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