Poetry and John Updike

28 Feb

        I’ll admit, I was never much into poetry. Something inside me always scoffed at the precious style of some poets. But, you know, I think part of growing up is realizing that by being prejudiced you’re missing out on a lot of really cool things. Like this poem below. I tried reading The Centaur a couple of years ago but found it dreary for some reason. Maybe I’ll give it another try in the light of this unexpected discovery.


Half Moon, Small Cloud
by John Updike

Caught out in daylight, a rabbit’s
transparent pallor, the moon
is paired with a cloud of equal weight:
the heavenly congruence startles.

For what is the moon, that it haunts us,
this impudent companion immigrated
from the system’s less fortunate margins,
the realm of dust collected in orbs?

We grow up as children with it, a nursemaid
of a bonneted sort, round-faced and kind,
not burning too close like parents, or too far
to 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.


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