Mad Men and Literature

I just finished the first season of Mad Men and thought it was great. One thing i wasn’t expecting is how culturally literate it is (NY Times article).

During the season premier this year (just watched it) the main character, Don Draper, is reading a book by Frank O’Hara (Meditations in an Emergency).  At the end of the episode there’ s voice over of one of O’Hara’s poems.  The episode is about the coming of Fall (mid-year), the need to hire younger writers at the office, being middle-aged in the middle of the century.  It’s a great episode but I think the poem at the end more than encapsulates it. It reads:

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

"Reading at lunch. Makes you feel like you're getting something done." "Yeah, it's all about getting things done"

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