Monday, August 17, 2009

Mad Men

Mad Men finally aired again last night. My favorite line is when Betty says to Don that their daughter has gotten into his tools like a little lesbian and then she smiles the

most lovely,warmhearted, knowing smile ever smiled. Mostly I just want to look at Betty and Joan for an hour.

If you are a fan of the show you should read this wonderful article What Frank O’Hara Tells Us About Don Draper. The article discusses the use of Frank O'hara's collection of poems titled Meditations in an Emergency with in the context of the character development in the show. I have never read O'hara's work, but here is a taste of the article...

[O'hara was] A gay man, he was an accomplished and well-known poet and published a number of well-received volumes before his untimely death at age forty. He worked as an assistant curator in the Museum of Modern Art and was close to a number of the most important painters of that time, including Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, and Joan Mitchell. These biographical details do not much connote the life of the Madison Avenue lifestyle of Don Draper.

However, there is in O’Hara’s poetry a crisis of identity and identification that very much evokes Don’s life. “To the Harbormaster,” the first poem in Meditations in an Emergency, begins,

I wanted to be sure to reach you

though my ship was on the way it got caught

in some moorings.

I am always tying up

and then deciding to depart.

I hope this makes you realize that you should read the entire piece.

What Frank O’Hara Tells Us About Don Draper

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