31 pages 1 hour read

Frank O'Hara

Ave Maria

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1964

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Discussion Starters

1. The poem presents a controversial argument: Young adults should be allowed to go out and experience the very things their parents are trying to protect them from. Do you agree with the speaker’s perspective? Why or why not?

2. The speaker offers a potential future for a family fractured by constraint and places the full responsibility of this future on the mothers. Do you agree that maintaining a family dynamic is the mother’s job? How much should children be expected to contribute to a family relationship?

3. This poem was written at a time before the accessibility of online dating and when being gay was still illegal in most of the Western world. Do you feel the speaker’s argument is still relevant today?