John Updike 1933-2009

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories
packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren’t the same.

-John Updike

2 thoughts on “John Updike 1933-2009”

  1. joe bernstein

    Mailer criticized Updike’s writing.I think Updike was the better writer by far.His material was accessible,readable,and serious with always the hint of a grin peeking through(ok,not always)-he could evoke a period through the lens of his characters and their surroundings.
    As I said on another blog,he was still full of good ideas,and went far too soon.

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