forty: endpoint and other poems by john updike.

new hampshire. october 2011.

Published after his death in 2009, John Updike’s Endpoint and Other Poems contains one of my favorites stanzas of all time. He was a writer who, although not born a New Englander, gave up on New York City life and died a New Englander. As he said: “There is no pleasing New Englanders, my dear, their soil is all rocks and their hearts are bloodless absolutes.” He was right.

Be with me, words, a little longer; you
have given me my quitclaim in the sun,
sealed shut my adolescent wounds, made light
of grownup troubles, turned to my advantage
what in most lives would be pure deficit,
and formed, of those I loved, more solid ghosts.
– John Updike, from “Spirit of ’76,” Endpoint and Other Poems

“New Hampshire” by Matt Pond PA:

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