Posted by: Zigzapiens | November 17, 2011

from a passing poet

The following poem is by the late American poet John Updike. Originally published on Harper’s Magazine (January 1964, p37) also reprinted in Midpoint and Other Poems (1969).




Great green ships

themselves, they ride

at anchor forever;

beneath the tide


huge roots of lava

hold them fast

in mid-Atlantic

to the past.


with cottages

(confetti) and

sweet lozenges

of chocolate (land).


They marvel at

the dainty fields

and terraces

hand-tilled to yield


the modest fruits

of vines and trees

imported by

the Portuguese;


a rural landscape

set adrift

from centuries ago;

the rift



The ship proceeds,

Again the constant

music feeds


an emptiness astern,

Azores gone.

The void behind, the void

ahead are one.


John Updike



  1. Excuse me, but would you mind telling me exactly what I’ve done to offend you?

    • yes. you’re either the girl i used to be with, or you are her psychic clone. either way, I want to call you names, that is, to her, and perhaps myself.

  2. I’m sorry you feel that way and I’m sorry that I remind you of her.

    • i’m gonna get drunk and finish some poems!

  3. i’m sorry too.

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