Lines 1-3: O"Hara starts the poem with a simple statement of truth. Answering the implied question of the poem"s title, O"Hara notes that he is not a painter for what, to him, is a really apparent reason: he is a poet. Still, the question begs a much more elaborate answer, and O"Hara admits, "I think I would certainly rather be / a painter, but I am not." (At the moment, "abstract expressionist" painters, such as Jackboy Pollock, had gained an huge amount of attention in the popular press, so it was unavoidable that O"Hara, what with his very own involvement in the art people, would certainly be asked why he himself had actually not come to be a painter.) The third line of the poem then ends with the word "Well," through the remainder of the sentence continuing on the following line after a stanza break.
You are watching: Why i am not a painter analysis
Download Why I Am Not a Painter Study Guide
At first, this sudden finishing of the line might seem arbitrary, yet permitting the word "Well" to dangle here serves a purpose. First, by keeping it cshed to the sentence, "I think I would quite be / a painter, yet I am not," the word "Well" clues at just how O"Hara feels about the fact that he is not a painter. Here, "Well" could simply as conveniently be "oh well," which is to say that not being a painter is not somepoint that upsets O"Hara to any kind of good degree—certainly, O"Hara does not take into consideration his being a poet a licapacity. Placed at the end of this line, "Well" serves the dual function of giving commentary on O"Hara"s situation, and also of initiating the more exact explanation that continues after the stanza break.
Lines 4-9: In this following stanza, O"Hara narrates an account of the development of a paint by his friend, Mike Goldberg. O"Hara does not current a cliched image of the artist as a tortured individual slaving over a painting, however quite a portrait of the artist as a calm working guy.
As Goldberg starts his painting, O"Hara concerns visit. With O"Hara saying, "I drop in," one must note that this is a casual situation: O"Hara and Goldberg are on equal footing, and his unscheduled visit is neither an imposition nor an inconvenience. Goldberg takes a break from his work-related and uses O"Hara a drink. With the words, "I drink; we drink," O"Hara starts to delineate the similarities between his friend, the painter, and also himself, the poet: simply as the painter drinks, he too drinks. What one immediately sees below is that art and everyday life go together.
O"Hara then casually looks up at the paint and also makes the simplest of comments: "You have actually SARDINES in it." (Putting an actual word in his painting, Goldberg is, in a means, borrowing from the poet"s region.) Goldberg"s reply, "Yes, it essential somepoint there," is equally simple and straight. Their conversation of the paint is devoid of any kind of self-mindful evaluation or direction, which indicates that the paint is being produced in a comparable fashion.
Lines 10-16: Words, "Oh," which begins the following line does not indicate surpincrease on O"Hara"s part. O"Hara, needing no additionally explacountry of what Goldberg is attempting to do through his paint, is simply cshedding this brief dialogue between himself and his friend. O"Hara then shows exactly how life proceeds without anypoint amazing going on. "And the days go by," he writes, and once he drops in a 2nd time Goldberg is still working on the paint. Again, O"Hara writes, "and also the days go by." Using the same expression over and over aget, O"Hara simulates the passage of time.
When O"Hara drops in a third time he finds that the painting is finiburned. Seeing that Goldberg has actually removed the word "SARDINES," leaving simply random letters with no "meaning" in them, O"Hara asks, "Where"s SARDINES?" This time O"Hara is surprised. Goldberg answers, "It was also a lot," indicating that he landed on the finished occupational of art through a process of removal.
Lines 17-29: Writing "But me?" at the opening of the final stanza, O"Hara sets forth to define what he thinks is the difference in between the procedure through which he creates a poem and the process through which Goldberg creates his paint. Wbelow Goldberg starts by paint the word "SARDINES" on a canvas, O"Hara starts by reasoning about the color ovariety. Like Goldberg borrowing from the poet"s region by using a word, O"Hara is borrowing from the painter"s region by utilizing a color. But fairly than removing things from his job-related, favor Goldberg, O"Hara keeps including points. "Pretty quickly," O"Hara writes, "it is a / totality web page of words, not lines. / Then another page." To better clarify the difference in between the poem and the painting, O"Hara notes that what he is including are "words, not lines." At this suggest the poem involves a climax through a battle of sorts in between the language of a poem and the lines of a painting. Also of note here is the struggle of the poet to express in words what the painter deserve to express by the easy use of a shade.
As O"Hara proceeds via the poem, he finds that what he desires to add is much rerelocated from his original idea: "There need to be / so much even more, not of oarray, of / words, of how destructive orange is / and life." O"Hara allows the closing of this sentence, "and also life," begin another line. Aobtain, this is not an arbitrary finishing of a line. Here, O"Hara is employing what Perloff calls a "floating modifier"—namely, "word teams that suggest 2 ways." The words, "and also life," are associated to the idea "of how destructive orange is." But they likewise reflect upon the words that directly follow it, providing a shift to yet an additional repetition of the expression, "Days go by."
In repeating this expression, which is offered twice in the initially stanza wbelow the process of painting is defined, O"Hara is subtly setting up the closing revelation of the poem in which O"Hara realizes that tright here are even more similarities than distinctions in the method he and also Goldberg occupational. Just like Goldberg, it takes a variety of days to finish his occupational. In addition, when the poem is finiburned, O"Hara finds that it does not also cite "ovariety," his founding point—just as Goldberg"s finiburned painting no much longer contains the word "SARDINES," which was his founding allude.
In the lines, "It is even in / prose, I am a real poet," O"Hara, after temporarily struggling via the obvious restrictions of words, is reaffirming the power of words and the art of poetry. Although he claims that his occupational is "in pclimbed," he is not saying that his occupational is not a poem—it most certainly is a poem, a poem that has taken the create of prose. In enhancement to this, O"Hara is additionally implying that he can"t assist however be a poet.
See more: Why Do Humans Have Two Sets Of Teeth, Why Do We Have Two Sets Of Teeth
Finally, also though O"Hara never mentions oselection in his poem, he nevertheless decides to call it "ORANGES." Then, upon seeing Goldberg"s painting in a gallery, O"Hara finds that Goldberg has actually done the exact same thing, calling his SARDINE-less painting "SARDINES." In various other words, O"Hara, though he never actually offers oarray in his poem, still needs the painterly concept of color; and additionally, Goldberg, though he has no words in his paint, still demands the poetic tool of language to provide entry to his art. Hence the poet and the painter, despite their various ideologies, are amounts to in the as a whole people of the arts.