Michelangelo Meets O’Hara

Robert Pinsky opens this conversation by mentioning the Mazur translation of Michelangelo’s poem, discussed in the lecture video “The Joy of Kvetching,” and the first response compares the poem to Frank O’Hara’s “Why I Am Not a Painter.” The rhetoric of no-not-that in both poems. Another person remarks on the performed or false humility that amuses her in Michelangelo’s poem. Various views of difficulty ensue, including Elizabeth Bishop’s working methods. In the last part of the video, Pinsky invokes the use of ordinary social skills, in reading (and writing) poems.