Tuesday, February 3, 2009

John Updike died last week, and I ran across
this poem by him that I think speaks volumes:

Perfection Wasted

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 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, 1990
Collected Poems 1953-1993

I'm going to have to pick up his Rabbit books
and give them a read.


Off to Bellingham today after an early shift at work
to catch a performance of Pilobolus, and Nelson is going
to check out Western Washington University.
I've always loved Bellingham -- a small university town
perched on the edge of the continent -- hilly, green,
vulnerable to dramatic shifts in weather. I think it
might even be sunny today. How did we luck out?

1 comment:

  1. T--The Updike poem is so moving. Thanks for sharing it.