and Other Poems
By John Updike
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780375412547, 112pp.)
Publication Date: May 15, 2001
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John Updike's first collection of verse since his Collected Poems, 1953-1993 brings together fifty-eight poems, three of them of considerable length. The four sections take up, in order: America, its cities and airplanes; the poet's life, his childhood, birthdays, and ailments; foreign travel, to Europe and the tropics; and, beginning with the long "Song of Myself," daily life, its furniture and consolations. There is little of the light verse with which Mr. Updike began his writing career nearly fifty years ago, but a light touch can be felt in his nimble manipulation of the ghosts of metric order, in his caressing of the living textures of things, and in his reluctance to wave goodbye to it all.
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. He is the author of more than fifty books, including collections of short stories, poems, essays, and criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Howells Medal.
About John Updike’s Poetry
“Is it conceivable that such a phenomenon also has produced a body of distinguished verse? It is conceivable, and such is in fact the case. [Collected Poems includes] seventy poems hitherto uncollected, written over the last eight or so years and showing Updike at his deepest and best.”
—William H. Pritchard, Boston Globe
“It is difficult to approach John Updike’s Collected Poems as the work of a poet—indeed, one of the best poets writing today. Updike enjoys such pre-eminence as a novelist that his poetry could be mistaken as a hobby or a foible . . . It is a poetry of civility—in its epigrammatical lucidity; in the matters it treats of . . . and in its tone of vulgar bonhomie and good appetite.”
—Thomas M. Disch, Poetry