John Updike Articles

Updike in Verse

Has justice been done to a lifetime of poetry?
Dec 21, 2015

No, this is a disappointment. To read the 132 poems chosen by this volume's editor, Christopher Carduff, is to realize that John Updike is not a poet well served by the popular impulse that reduces a large body of work to a greatest-hits anthology.

Of course, there was a time when critics claimed that Updike wasn't much of a poet at all, his poems dismissed as the effluence of a literary talent that properly manifested itself only in the prose of his novels and short stories. Updike himself once described his verse as his "oeuvre's beloved waifs," and X. J. Kennedy explained that the novelist writing poetry was "like some designer of Explorer rockets who hasn't enough to do, in his spare time touching off displays of

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