Having a Coke with You

People express love in different ways. The way depends on how the person has been raised. It is not uncommon to find someone who struggles to show his or her affection for another person. Regarding the poem “Having a Coke With You” by Frank O’Hara, the reader reads a poem from a young man just learning about love. The poem is in the perspective of the speaker and is told as if the speaker is actually speaking. The theme of the poem “Having a Coke With You” is the expression of love. 

 “Having a Coke With You” by Frank O’Hara is about a young man trying to express his love to the girl he adores. His way of expressing his feelings to the girl is through a poem riddled with random thoughts. The speaker is a typical teenage boy who can’t sit straight for longer than 30 seconds. He says every thought that comes to mind aloud, for example: “I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally” (O’Hara 1). Rather than just saying he would rather view his love than all the portraits in the world and leaving it at that, he continues and adds in a little joke to lighten the mood. The speaker is not only a young man, but he is a young man with a fear of commitment. He struggles with very serious moments so he tries to add in something comical to lessen the intensity. This doesn’t mean he lies about what he says; the speaker just can’t say it with a straight face. Saying something emotional to someone has always been an obstacle for him to overcome, and he still hasn’t. “The fact that you move so beautifully more or less” (1), this is another example of how the speaker can’t finish a deep thought without making it a joke.

With young love comes two emotionally unstable teenagers unable to form a full thought without getting on top of eachother. The poem “Having a Coke With You” focuses on the speaker telling his love how much she means to him, in a very interesting attempt. This poem is a gift from the speaker to his girl. The speaker intends to read this to his special someone on a special day to make her feel loved. The speaker is addressing his significant other, and has a goal to go farther in their relationship because of it. “It is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth between each other” (1). This clearly states that he has a history with the person he is speaking to, and that he is falling in love with them, or is already in love with them.

Having a coke with someone is not normally correlated with something luxurious, but in this poem, the luxury is being with the other person. In “Having a Coke With You,” the speaker wants his girl to know that it doesn’t matter when or where they are, because he will be happy for the sole reason that she is there. The theme of the poem is the profound expression of love. How it is carried out in the poem is what makes it profound. This is a love poem to say the least, and it’s given from one lover to another, made to strengthen the connection with each other. The theme is directly stated in the line “because of my love for you” (1). It is very clear that the speaker has deep admiration for the girl he is reading it to, but doesn’t know precisely how to show it. Helping the theme are countless similes comparing her to things he adores, for example: “in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian” (1). Simply put, the speaker wants to make the girl feel loved and laugh, and the way he does it pulls it off perfectly.

When two people are in love, they find whatever ways they can to fully show how much they feel for each other. In this very interesting poem about love, the reader learns that even when someone struggles to express him or herself, they can just say what they feel and it will get across. That is clearly shown by the fact that the theme of the poem is clear, the theme of expressing love. This line describes the poem perfectly: “What good does all the research of the impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it” (1). The speaker says what he needs to say: that he loves the girl. And also adds some random thoughts that just popped into his mind to make her laugh.

Works Cited

O’Hara, Frank. Having A Coke With You. Berkeley: University of California, 1995. Print.