Endpoint And Other Poems

Hardcover | March 31, 2009

byJohn Updike

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A stunning collection of poems that John Updike wrote during the last seven years of his life and put together only weeks before he died for this, his final book.

The opening sequence, “Endpoint,” is made up of a series of connected poems written on the occasions of his recent birthdays and culminates in his confrontation with his final illness. He looks back on the boy that he was, on the family, the small town, the people, and the circumstances that fed his love of writing, and he finds endless delight and solace in “turning the oddities of life into words.”

“Other Poems” range from the fanciful (what would it be like to be a stolen Rembrandt painting? he muses) to the celebratory, capturing the flux of life. A section of sonnets follows, some inspired by travels to distant lands, others celebrating the idiosyncrasies of nature in his own backyard.

For John Updike, the writing of poetry was always a special joy, and this final collection is an eloquent and moving testament to the life of this extraordinary writer.

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A stunning collection of poems that John Updike wrote during the last seven years of his life and put together only weeks before he died for this, his final book.The opening sequence, “Endpoint,” is made up of a series of connected poems written on the occasions of his recent birthdays and culminates in his confrontation with his final...

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 was the father of four children and the author of more than sixty books, including...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:112 pages, 8.3 × 5.4 × 0.55 inPublished:March 31, 2009Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307272869

ISBN - 13:9780307272867

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Half Moon, Small CloudCaught out in daylight, a rabbit'stransparent pallor, the moonis paired with a cloud of equal weight:the heavenly congruence startles. For what is the moon, that it haunts us,this impudent companion immigratedfrom the system's less fortunate margins,the realm of dust collected in orbs?We grow up as children with it, a nursemaidof a bonneted sort, round-faced and kind,not burning too close like parents, or too farto spare even a glance, like movie stars.No star but in the zodiac of stars,a stranger there, too big, it begs for love(the man in it) and yet is diaphanous,its thereness as mysterious as ours. Evening Concert, Sainte-ChapelleThe celebrated windows flamed with lightdirectly pouring north across the Seine;we rustled into place. Then violinsvaunting Vivaldi's strident strength, then Brahms,seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness,bit by bit, the vigor from the red,the blazing blue, so that the listening eyesaw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapesof shield and cross and strut and brace, that heldthe holy glowing fantasy together.The music surged; the glow became a milk,a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbeduntil our beating hearts, our violinswere cased in thin but solid sheets of lead. Country MusicFebruary 1999Oh Monica, you MonicaIn your little black beret,You beguiled our saintly BillyAnd led that creep astray.He'd never seen thong underpantsOr met a Valley girl;He was used to Southern women,Like good old Minnie Pearl.You vamped him with your lingo,Your notes in purple ink,And fed him Vox and bagelsUntil he couldn't think.You were our Bill's DelilahUntil Acquittal Day; You're his-tor-y now, Monica,In your little black beret.