Download Americana and Other Poems by John Updike PDF

By John Updike

John Updike's first number of verse when you consider that his Collected Poems, 1953-1993 brings jointly fifty-eight poems, 3 of them of substantial length.

The 4 sections soak up, so as: the USA, its towns and airplanes; the poet's existence, his youth, birthdays, and diseases; overseas commute, to Europe and the tropics; and, starting with the lengthy "Song of Myself," everyday life, its furnishings and consolations.

There is little of the sunshine verse with which Mr. Updike all started his writing profession approximately fifty years in the past, yet a mild contact will be felt in his nimble manipulation of the ghosts of metric order, in his caressing of the residing textures of items, and in his reluctance to wave see you later to all of it.

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With the vision of money-frantic western miners before him, the speaker asks himself "why / might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine" (Reform Papers, p. 164). In both passages the mining image refers principally to self-culture and a literary vocation, concepts that, in Thoreau's case, were inseparable, recipro- 12 Introduction cally constitutive, and central to his rationale for his life. Thus to "work the country's mines" is both a personal rejection of apparently attractive new alternatives for young Concordians and a recommitment to his own private business, a business demonstrated by the literary tour de force on Hosmer, Concord, and the question of enterprise.

Yet Old Hickory also intoned in his strange farewell address that the "planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer all know that their success depends upon their own industry and economy, and that they must not expect to become suddenly rich by the fruits of their toil" (Presidents, 4:1524). In this speech—dark with references to the evil coercion of "monied corporations," "monopoly," "exclusive privilege," speculation, paper money, and paper stocks—the overseer of the early halcyon days of enterprise appealed to the producing groups of the old order to recover the rights they had allowed to slip away.

12 Kate McKean's 1864 Manual of Social Science—which abbreviated, simplified, and popularized Henry C. Carey's pioneering, three-volume Principles of Political Economy (1840) (and which went through at least eight editions by 1888)— agrees with Bowen in the general and specific use of enterprise. Bowen's text also contains the earliest American usage I have been able to find of the terminology private enterprise in its modern sense. According to the OED, private enterprise was first used in 1844 in a report on activities that the British East India Company (a virtual monopoly) had left to others.

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