Kit Robinson begins:
TED BERRIGAN SAID that when he discovered Frank O’Hara’s poetry he found “somebody who wrote the way I talked.” I had the same feeling when I first read Berrigan’s work. Yet what began as a sense of natural language in O’Hara quickly became a kind of patented style with Berrigan, as his many characteristic ways of saying things were essentially branded through repeated use, not only in his poetry, but in the running commentary he produced in his classes and in conversation. Ted also said that when you try to imitate another writer you will fail, and that failure will be the basis for your own thing, or words to that effect. I believe that’s true too.