so this past week for my poetry class we had to write a personification poem - giving
life/human characteristics to non-human things. i wrote a short poem titled " A Pact"
in which i recount the (fictitious) pact i have with the sun. there is a lot of revision to be done
on it and i'll probably end up going in a different direction with it, but one thing that came out
of it was that one of my classmates noted that it was similar to a frank o'hara poem, one i'd
never heard of, titled "A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island". not the best
o'hara poem, i'd say, but i definitely connect with its message and was happy to have
below, my poem. followed by frank's
A PactI have a pact with the sun:I’ll undress for himevery morningAnd he’ll stayhung in the blue frame skylike a peeled tangerine shooting his warm skinacross the earthUntil the moon rises with his pearl-dagger edgesand demands the frame to himselfSo on cloudy daysyou’ll know I’m to blameI have a lazy sideAnd if there’s rainwellyou can’t blame a girlfor getting changed in the closeton the occasional fat-day
A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire IslandFrank O'Hara
The Sun woke me this morning loud and clear, saying "Hey! I've been trying to wake you up for fifteen minutes. Don't be so rude, you are only the second poet I've ever chosen to speak to personally so why aren't you more attentive? If I could burn you through the window I would to wake you up. I can't hang around here all day." "Sorry, Sun, I stayed up late last night talking to Hal." "When I woke up Mayakovsky he was a lot more prompt" the Sun said petulantly. "Most people are up already waiting to see if I'm going to put in an appearance." I tried to apologize "I missed you yesterday." "That's better" he said. "I didn't know you'd come out." "You may be wondering why I've come so close?" "Yes" I said beginning to feel hot and wondering if maybe he wasn't burning me anyway. "Frankly I wanted to tell you I like your poetry. I see a lot on my rounds and you're okay. You may not be the greatest thing on earth, but you're different. Now, I've heard some say you're crazy, they being excessively calm themselves to my mind, and other crazy poets think that you're a boring reactionary. Not me. Just keep on like I do and pay no attention. You'll find that some people always will complain about the atmosphere, either too hot or too cold too bright or too dark, days too short or too long. If you don't appear at all one day they think you're lazy or dead. Just keep right on, I like it. And don't worry about your lineage poetic or natural. The Sun shines on the jungle, you know, on the tundra the sea, the ghetto. Wherever you were I knew it and saw you moving. I was waiting for you to get to work. And now that you are making your own days, so to speak, even if no one reads you but me you won't be depressed. Not everyone can look up, even at me. It hurts their eyes." "Oh Sun, I'm so grateful to you!" "Thanks and remember I'm watching. It's easier for me to speak to you out here. I don't have to slide down between buildings to get your ear. I know you love Manhattan, but you ought to look up more often. And always embrace things, people earth sky stars, as I do, freely and with the appropriate sense of space. That is your inclination, known in the heavens and you should follow it to hell, if necessary, which I doubt. Maybe we'll speak again in Africa, of which I too am specially fond. Go back to sleep now Frank, and I may leave a tiny poem in that brain of yours as my farewell." "Sun, don't go!" I was awake at last. "No, go I must, they're calling me." "Who are they?" Rising he said "Some day you'll know. They're calling to you too." Darkly he rose, and then I slept.