A Manifesto, O’Hara introduces a new style of poetic writing called pepperonis. The style defers from that of a traditional structured format. Aurora’s Personal Poem serves as an example of pepperonis and Is able to put the techniques described In the manifesto Into context, which Is very helpful In giving us a better overall understanding about the movement. O’Hara created personnel after a heartbreak when he realized that he could speak with his former lover using the telephone instead of writing poems. He decided to incorporate this direct freedom of expression into his writing. Like poems that intend to have the reader walk away with a certain message, O’Hara goes for something very different in Personal Poem. Its format is of one 8-line stanza and one 26-line stanza. There is not a single period in the entire poem, making it difficult to read and to follow Aurora’s train of thought. Taking it a step farther than Just the difficulty in understanding the poem due to its lack of punctuation, the poem Jumps from one Idea to the next: from dreams about being a construction worker in New York to eating fish and drinking beer. After reading Personal Poem, I began understanding more fully Pepperonis at large.
Aurora’s lack of care for the presentation of clear Ideas to his readers Is apparent from the very beginning of Pepperonis: A Manholes. He states, “If someone’s chasing you down the street with a knife and you just run, you don’t turn around and shout, “Give it pulp I was a track star for Minimal Prep” Here, O’Hara compares poetry to this extreme situation where impulsiveness and instinct takes priority over structured, planned-out thinking. He also provides a metaphor for the ineffectiveness of poetic obviousness, comparing it to wearing overly tight Jeans to portray a sexual image.
The obviousness of intentions negates the original intention rather than implements it. In other words, it causes the poetry to lose its metaphysical aspect. Pepperonis as a breakthrough in poetic Ideological form must be based on the idea that poetry Is an art form rather than a philosophy. It allows for space of Interpretation Instead of “forced feeding” of Ideas to the reader. He describes the negative effects of this “forced feeding” In what I believe Is a brilliant line In the manifesto: It does not have to do with personality or intimacy, far from it!
But to give you a vague idea, one of its minimal aspects is to address itself to one person (other than the poet himself), thus evoking overtones of love without destroying love’s life-giving vulgarity, and sustaining the poet’s feelings toward the poem while preventing love from distracting him into feeling about the person. ” By freely Jotting down thoughts on paper, sanctity of poetry is untainted. Here, he uses the example of love as the example for the overarching theme of a poem that should not be forced upon readers.
By addressing love, the writer takes away the “overtones” of love through expression In the poem. This non-blatant expression Is what distinguishes art from philosophy. Love Is not an Image painted In a picture, but is the paint itself used to create the image. O’Hara, however, is not concerned by this complexity, instead believing that it contributes to artistic value. Pepperonis as a form should be about direct relational connection rather than words on a page. O’Hara believes that this form will continue to evolve and become more and more beneficial to the realm of poetic expression.