By John Updike
John Updike's first number of verse on the grounds that his Collected Poems, 1953-1993 brings jointly fifty-eight poems, 3 of them of substantial length.
The 4 sections absorb, so as: the United States, its towns and airplanes; the poet's existence, his youth, birthdays, and diseases; international go back and forth, to Europe and the tropics; and, starting with the lengthy "Song of Myself," way of life, its furnishings and consolations.
There is little of the sunshine verse with which Mr. Updike all started his writing occupation approximately fifty years in the past, yet a mild contact could be felt in his nimble manipulation of the ghosts of metric order, in his caressing of the residing textures of items, and in his reluctance to wave so long to all of it.
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Additional info for Americana and Other Poems
2. Behind this the Jug brook goes on trying to talk, birch shifts hour by hour as if to hear better, trembling apple’s blood-red nubs a child’s heart-pulse, maybe ornaments hung for holiday, forgotten, to chime again in ice rimes that will hold a rose bud, its pink show starting soon like hope. Wood smoke has the air like a grandmother’s perfume on a sidewalk, he almost knows who it was, there’s a little longing. But what stops him is the plow, black point jamming the plank-strapped door open, still ready enough to split the earth for its meaning.
Then a hand slides out dropping change as she twirls, who’s also dead, her flying ponytail electric, and just then the pink Cadillac, and the black faces as glass smoothes slowly down, smoke hazing inside. That’s all it takes. I can hear knuckles crack, the words like flecks of spit in summer air, like looping bats visible in high moth-swirls of light. But nothing happened the way everybody thinks. Milkshakes gone, we slumped, unbuckled, cruised the river’s salt marsh, boats fishing where it’s lonelier than we knew, some asleep on deck, maybe learning how beautiful shore lights are.
Boathouse ivy hung in your hair, roping us close, as I settled with you, love, in wet grass, slick and cold like the top of the Hatteras yacht where, trespassers in stars once, we had been diving, then making love, and then came night crawl of lights with friends, that house party, a marsh by Back River, traffic along Victory Boulevard. Voices on the patio doubted our future forty years ago, near the Air Force base. Now-dead, their babies unborn, or asleep, married, joking. Steaks sizzled on the cooker, sweat on beer cans.
Americana and Other Poems by John Updike