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Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)

Frank O'Hara

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cooment on 'Lana Turner has collapsed!'
Added by: Jason Power
I'm sorry. Maybe I just don't get it or maybe I really just need to know who Lana Turner is but the poem doesn't really make sense; doesn't seem to go anywhere; accomplish anything. Maybe not. Maybe I'm just predjudice because I just don't like it. But, it is poem of the month and I give you my congradulations.
Added by: Ryan Nelson
Sorry, Jason. Lana Turner was a classic bombshell of studio dominated Hollywood. She was a frequent subject of Frank, who loved her kitch appeal. The poem is supposed to be an anti-poem, from his "I do this, I do that" period. No deep meaning or language, until usually the last line. Just a list of events. It instills a feeling of NYC cool and deep care about social fabric. You should check out Personism: An Essay by O'Hara for an explanation of the style.
one of my favorite poems ever
Added by: McPaul Smith
I loved this poem when I first read it (24 years ago, as a 19-year-old in a freshman poetry class) and it's still one of my favorites. It seems so feather-weight and dashed-off, but it holds so much -- Pop culture, tabloid sensibility, the voice of reason vs. breathless glamour, the NY/LA dichotomy, the weather in the way when you're trying to get somewhere. And one of the greatest last lines ever.
Added by: Annabel Morris
Just a great poem. Seems like lightweight fluff but it's really simply terrific. Me, I usually go the Auden/Eliot route but this just speaks to me. I love the breathlessness of it, the New York attitude, the sudden shift as it switches to LA.
Lana Turner Has Collapsed!
Added by: Dan M
One way to read the poem is as a light, comically-toned pair-up to the heavy, tragic tone of 'The Day Lady Died.'

Both are in Frank's 'I do this I do that' mode, and both involve a day's journey interrrupted by discovering a sudden news headline.

Here, though, instead of Billie Holliday's troubled life and tragic death, we get a hilarious riff on the distinction between real trouble and imaginary self-pitying trouble... "Hailing hits you on the head HARD / so it was really snowing" i.e., things not nearly as bad as they might be; which is echoed in Lana Turner's comically trivial troubles (she 'collapsed' at a Hollywood party, and the gossip columnists picked up on it). Sort of, "be careful what you complain about"...

In a funny side note, Frank wrote this poem in one sitting, on the Staten Island Ferry, while on his way to do a poetry reading with the famous (and rather self-pitying) Robert Lowell, who was very annoyed that Frank had the temerity to read a poem he had written only 15 minutes or so before.

And you gotta love that last line!
Added by: Rose Fitzgerald
I've heard a recording of Frank O'Hara reading this poem... he goes through everything really fast and sarcastically. Very entertaining.
Lana we love you get up
Added by: ww
This trivial nature of the subject of this poem is always, always hilarious to me - especially in the last line.

When I was a little girl, and was having a fit about something or other (as most little girls are prone to do, really), my mom used to say, "Lana Turner has collapsed!"

She'll occasionally say it when I (now nineteen, and a huge O'Hara fan) am fretting over something, and more than once - to cheer me up - she's said (in one breath): oh Lana Turner we love you get up!

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