Search-icon

Collected Poems, 1953-1993

By

eBook published by Knopf (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
“The idea of verse, of poetry, has always, during forty years spent working primarily in prose, stood at my elbow, as a standing invitation to the highest kind of verbal exercise—the most satisfying, the most archaic, the most elusive of critical control.  In hotel rooms and airplanes, on beaches and Sundays, at junctures of personal happiness or its opposite, poetry has comforted me with its hope of permanence, its packaging of flux.”
                Thus John Updike writes in introducing his Collected Poems.  The earliest poems here date from 1953, when Updike was twenty-one, and the last were written after he turned sixty.  Almost all of those published in his five previous collections are included, with some revisions.  Arranged in chronological order, the poems constitute, as he says, “the thread backside of my life’s fading tapestry.”  An ample set of notes at the back of the book discusses some of the hidden threads, and expatiates upon a number of fine points.
                Nature—tenderly intricate, ruthlessly impervious—is a constant and ambiguous presence in these poems, along with the social observation one would expect in a novelist.  No occasion is too modest or too daily to excite metaphysical wonder, or to provoke a lyrical ingenuity of language.  Yet even the wittiest of the poems are rooted to the ground of experience and fact.  “Seven Odes to Seven Natural Processes” attempt to explicate the physical world with a directness seldom attempted in poetry.  Several longer poems—“Leaving Church Early,” “Midpoint”—use autobiography to proclaim the basic strangeness of existence.
Show less
“The idea of verse, of poetry, has always, during forty years spent working primarily in prose, stood at my elbow, as a standing invitation to the highest kind of verbal exercise—the most satisfying, the most archaic, the most elusive of critical control.  In hotel rooms and airplanes, on beaches and Sundays, at junctures of personal happiness or its opposite, poetry has comforted me with its hope of permanence, its packaging of flux.”
                Thus John Updike writes in introducing his Collected Poems.  The earliest poems here date from 1953, when Updike was twenty-one, and the last were written after he turned sixty.  Almost all of those published in his five previous collections are included, with some revisions.  Arranged in chronological order, the poems constitute, as he says, “the thread backside of my life’s fading tapestry.”  An ample set of notes at the back of the book discusses some of the hidden threads, and expatiates upon a number of fine points.
                Nature—tenderly intricate, ruthlessly impervious—is a constant and ambiguous presence in these poems, along with the social observation one would expect in a novelist.  No occasion is too modest or too daily to excite metaphysical wonder, or to provoke a lyrical ingenuity of language.  Yet even the wittiest of the poems are rooted to the ground of experience and fact.  “Seven Odes to Seven Natural Processes” attempt to explicate the physical world with a directness seldom attempted in poetry.  Several longer poems—“Leaving Church Early,” “Midpoint”—use autobiography to proclaim the basic strangeness of existence.
Product Details
eBook (416 pages)
Published: April 25, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Knopf
ISBN: 9780307961976
Other books byJohn Updike
  • John Updike: Collected Later Stories

    John Updike: Collected Later Stories
    The Library of America presents the second of two volumes in its definitive Updike collection. Here are 84 classic stories that display the virtuosic command of character, dialogue, and sensual description that was Updike’s signature.. Based on new archival research, each story is presented in its final definitive form and in order of composition, established here for the first time.

    John Updike: The Collected Stories

    John Updike: The Collected Stories
    From his first collection, The Same Door, released in 1959, to his last, My Father’s Tears, published fifty years later, John Updike was America’s reigning master of the short story, “our second Hawthorne,” as Philip Roth described him. His evocations of small-town Pennsylvania life, and of his own religious, artistic, and sexual awakening, transfixed readers of The New Yorker and of the early collections Pigeon Feathers (1962) and The Music School (1966). In these and the works that followed—the formal experiments and wickedly tart tales of suburban adultery in Museums and Women (1972) and Problems (1979), the portraits of middle-aged couples in love and at war with aging parents and rebellious children in Trust Me (1987) and The Afterlife (1994), and the fugue-like stories of memory, desire, travel, and unquenched thirst for life in Licks of Love (2000) and My Father’s Tears (2009)—Updike displayed the virtuosic command of character, dialogue, and sensual description that was his signature.   Here, in two career-spanning volumes, are 186 unforgettable stories, from “Ace in the Hole” (1953), a sketch of a Rabbit-like ex-basketball player written when Updike was a Harvard senior, to “The Full Glass” (2008), the author’s “toast to the visible world, his own impending disappearance from it be damned.” Based on new archival research, each story is presented in its final definitive form and in order of composition, established here for the first time. This unprecedented collection of American masterpieces is not just the publishing event of the season, it is a national literary treasure.

    Terrorist

    Terrorist
    A Novel
    The terrorist of John Updike’s title is eighteen-year-old Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy, the son of an Irish American mother and an Egyptian father who disappeared when he was three. Devoted to Allah and to the Qur’an as expounded by the imam of his neighborhood mosque, Ahmad feels his faith threatened by the materialistic, hedonistic society he sees around him in the slumping New Jersey factory town of New Prospect. Neither Jack Levy, his life-weary guidance counselor at Central High, nor Joryleen Grant, his seductive black classmate, succeeds in diverting Ahmad from what the Qur’an calls the Straight Path. Now driving a truck for a local Lebanese furniture store—a job arranged through his imam—Ahmad thinks he has discovered God’s purpose for him. But to quote the Qur’an: Of those who plot, God is the best.

    Indian Summer

    Indian Summer
    Set against a glamorous Italian backdrop, here is William Dean Howell's classic comedy of errors, a pitch-perfect story of romantic confusions that surprises and delights. "A midlife crisis has rarely been sketched in fiction with better humor," writes John Updike in his engaging introduction, first published in 1990.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish