Tag Archives: John Updike

Some Favourite Poetry Collections of 2009: Part Seven


Bill Allegrezza
Sonnet 56 by Paul Hoover (Les Figues Press)
Clampdown by Jennifer Moxley (Flood Editions)
The Book of Frank by C A Conrad (Chax Press)
Ren Powell
Carta Marina: A Poem in Three Parts by Ann Fisher-Wirth
(Wings Press)
Stalin in Aruba by Shelley Puhak (Black Lawrence Press)
Then, Something by Patricia Fargnoli (Tupelo Press)
The Mother/Child Papers by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
(University of Pittsburgh Press, reissue)
Amy MacLennan
Fear of Moving Water by Alex Grant (Wind Publications)
A Brief History of Time by Shaindel Beers (Salt Modern Poets)
In the Voice of a Minor Saint by Sarah J. Sloat (Tilt Press)
Pam Thompson
Unexpected Weather by Abi Curtis (Salt Modern Poets)
The Clockwork Gift by Claire Crowther (Shearsman Books)
Relinquish by Meryl Pugh (Arrowhead Press)
Claire Askew
Nothing Unrequited Here by Heather Bell (Verve Bath Press)
Dances with Vowels: New and Selected Poems
by Kevin Cadwallender (Smokestack Press)
Cover Story by Dave Coates (Forest Publications)
Geraldine Green
Poppin’ Johnny by George Wallace (Three Rooms Press)
The Hunt in the Forest by John Burnside (Jonathan Cape)
Inside a Turtle Shell by Robert Savino (Allbook Books)
Roy Woolley
Plan B by Paul Muldoon (Gallery Press)
Rain by Don Paterson (Faber & Faber)
Over by Jane Draycott (Carcanet Press)
Jocelyn Page
Endpoint and other poems by John Updike (Knopf)
Furniture by Lorraine Mariner (Picador)
Weeds and Wild Flowers by Alice Oswald (with etchings
by Jessica Greenman) (Faber & Faber)
Rustum Kozain
Oleander by Fiona Zerbst (Modjaji Books)
Jayne Fenton Keane
Best Australian Poems 2009, edited by Robert Adamson
(Black Inc.)
Amy Key
Chronic by D A Powell (Graywolf Press)
Like This by Diana Pooley (Salt Modern Poets)
Poemland by Chelsey Minnis (Wave Books)

John Updike (1932 – 2009)

“A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience.”

“Each morning my characters greet me with misty faces willing, though chilled, to muster for another day’s progress through the dazzling quicksand the marsh of blank paper.”

“Writers take words seriously – perhaps the last professional class that does – and they struggle to steer their own through the crosswinds of meddling editors and careless typesetters and obtuse and malevolent reviewers into the lap of the ideal reader.”

“The writer must face the fact that ordinary lives are what most people live most of the time, and that the novel as a narration of the fantastic and the adventurous is really an escapist plot; that aesthetically the ordinary, the banal, is what you must deal with.”

“The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one’s obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.”

“I would especially like to recourt the Muse of poetry, who ran off with the mailman four years ago, and drops me only a scribbled postcard from time to time.”

“From earliest childhood I was charmed by the materials of my craft, by pencils and paper and, later, by the typewriter and the entire apparatus of printing.  To condense from one’s memories and fantasies and small discoveries dark marks on paper which become handsomely reproducible many times over still seems to me, after nearly 30 years concerned with the making of books, a magical act, and a delightful technical process.  To distribute oneself thus, as a kind of confetti shower falling upon the heads and shoulders of mankind out of bookstores and the pages of magazines is surely a great privilege and a defiance of the usual earthbound laws whereby human beings make themselves known to one another.”