15th April 2022

Wedding Readings for Gay Weddings: Frank O’Hara

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Welcome back to our weekly segment of wedding readings. Here we source and share some of our favourite texts perfect for weddings. This week we are focusing on wedding readings for gay weddings. We try and include a variety of ideas so that there is a reading suggestion for every kind of speech at every kind of wedding!

However, if you are looking for a reading suggestion for a specific event, please feel free to leave us a comment. We would love to help you source one.

 

wedding readings for gay weddings
Frank O’Hara

 

The Reading

This week’s reading is Having a Coke With You by Frank O’Hara. O’Hara was an American poet, writer and critic famous for writing in a personal tone. His poems were likened to a diary, as they utilise stream of consciousness style to describe seemingly mundane events. O’Hara was openly gay. His poems contain a myriad of references to the New York LGBT scene which he inhabited in the 40s and 50s.

While many of Frank’s poems would make perfect wedding readings for gay weddings, his most famous love poem is Having a Coke With You.

 

Having a Coke with You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian

partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt

partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches

partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary

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 like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

                                                                                                              I look

at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and 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’m telling you about it

Why We love It

This is one of our favourite wedding readings for gay weddings, because it is steeped in queer history. Not only that, but the poem itself treads a masterful line between being deeply personal and somehow universal. O’Hara compares the mundane experience of having a Coke with his lover to the traditionally thrilling experiences of holidays or theme parks. He states that he would rather look at his lover than any art in the world.

The imagery of art, culture and life experience make this a beautiful reading for any wedding. The final lines of the poem discuss his urge to share every marvellous experience with his lover. This is a lovely metaphor for a wedding.

If you like this reading, keep your eyes peeled next Sunday and every Sunday from here on out. We will share more wedding readings for gay weddings, second weddings, vow renewals, and more.