Don Draper bought Frank O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency. Here is the title poem.
St. Serapion, I wrap myself in the robes of your whiteness
which is like midnight in Dostoevsky. How I am to become a
legend, my dear? I've tried love, but that holds you in the
bosom of another and I'm always springing forth from it like
the lotus--the ecstasy of always bursting forth! (but one must
not be distracted by it!) or like a hyacinth, "to keep the
filth of life away," yes, even in the heart, where the filth is
pumped in and slanders and pollutes and determines. I will my
will, though I may become famous for a mysterious vacancy in
that department, that greenhouse.
What Mad men is really about (I think) is the mystery of creativity. Don treats Peggy (the only female ad executive, very young, and not a beauty) as an equal - he disagrees with her, encourages her, is interested in talking to her. Why? because she is creative.
At the end of the previous series Don and one of his minions were discussing the cave paintings at Lascaux - the imprint of the painters' hands, pressed into the wall of the cave, as if they were trying to get through.
And what I think is that even trapped in capitalism, creativity pushes against the stone wall.
Peggy says to Don, with youthful cynicism 'Sex sells'.
No, says Don, what sells is the feeling you have inside you.
ETA Here is Don reading Mayakovski, another O'Hara poem. (youtube)