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John Updike: Selected Poems

John Updike: Selected Poems

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Now in paperback: five decades of witty, intimate, and moving poems--written between 1953 and 2008--with the cumulative force of an autobiography in verse, by this master of American letters.

Though John Updike is widely known as one of America's greatest writers of prose, both his first book and his last were poetry collections, and in the fifty years between he published six other volumes of verse. Here, Christopher Carduff has selected the best of his lifework in poetry: 129 of his most significant and accomplished poems, from precocious undergraduate efforts to frequently anthologized midcareer classics to dozens of later works in a form that Updike made his own, the blank-verse sonnet. Art, science, popular culture, foreign travel, erotic love, and the beauty of the man-made and God-given worlds--these recurring topics provided Updike ever-surprising occasions for wonder and matchless verbal invention. His Selected Poems is, as Brad Leithauser writes in his introduction, a celebration of American life in the second half of the twentieth century: "No other writer of his time captured so much of this passing pageant. That he did so with brio and delight and nimbleness is another reason to celebrate our noble celebrant."