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Why I Am Not a Painter Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Why I Am Not a Painter.
This section contains 1,236 words
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Lines 1-3:

O'Hara begins the poem with a simple statement of fact. Answering the implied question of the poem's title, O'Hara notes that he is not a painter for what, to him, is a very obvious reason: he is a poet. Still, the question begs a more elaborate answer, and O'Hara admits, "I think I would rather be / a painter, but I am not." (At the time, "abstract expressionist" painters, such as Jackson Pollock, had gained an enormous amount of attention in the popular press, so it was inevitable that O'Hara, what with his own involvement in the art world, would be asked why he himself had not become a painter.) The third line of the poem then ends with the word "Well," with the remainder of the sentence continuing on the next line after a stanza break.

At first, this sudden ending of the line may seem...

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This section contains 1,236 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Why I Am Not a Painter Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Why I Am Not a Painter from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.