American Literary Legend John Updike and More
- Apr 15, 2007 at 7:39AM
SINGING ONE'S SONG--WITH AN ITCH
American literary legend John Updike, creator of forty books, was pondering as to whether he had done his best, sung his song, had his say. As he approached sixty-five he said he felt a certain panicked awareness of what he hadn't put in his books: "almost everything" he mused. "Worlds are not in them. In the face of this vacuity arises the terrible itch to--what else?" he continued to ponder.1
I, too, am conscious that there is much that is not in my poetry. But, given its function, its purpose, what I am trying to do and say through these thousands of poems, I have no concern, no worry, about what is not in my poetic creations. I have sung my song, had my say, done my best, although only a small handful have read any of it. In fact, in some ways, my problem is the opposite to Updike's. I have written so much poetry that I feel the reader is faced with overload should he or she really want to try to take it all in. If I have any itch at all it is that the coterie that reads my poetry will be so small as to make both me and my poetry irrelevant to the general public. -Ron Price with thanks to Gail Sheehy, Passages for Men, Simon and Schuster, Sydney, 1998, p.217.