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By John Updike

John Updike's first choice of verse for the reason that his Collected Poems, 1953-1993 brings jointly fifty-eight poems, 3 of them of substantial length.

The 4 sections absorb, so as: the US, its towns and airplanes; the poet's existence, his youth, birthdays, and illnesses; international 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 gentle contact should 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 so long to all of it.

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Stealing away from “the populous playground” in moccasins, bought with his pocket money from Quebec, he prowled through “the secret pine woods,” imagining himself as Meriwether Lewis with buckskin shirt and trusty rifle “until the distant bell recalled him from the upper waters of the Missouri to Todhunter’s Algebra for Beginners” (“Wilderness” 251). 24 His more obvious passions revolved around music and cultural life, which he fed by extended education and travel in Europe, and he studied music at Harvard, as well as composing and performing in several comic operas that won acclaim within and beyond the university.

After graduating from Harvard, Wister had travelled to Europe in the hope of following a musical career. His work was admired by Franz Liszt, but his father objected vehemently to him pursuing such a vocation and, after an intense struggle, Wister caved in to the expectation that he would enter the professional world. Through social connections with the first families of Boston, Wister was offered a position with the brokerage firm Lee, Higginson, and Company, although a downturn in their business meant that, in fact, he ended up in their Union Safety Deposit Vaults as a clerk, in 1883.

The WSGA vigilantes aimed to exploit racism to their own benefit. They calculated that ratcheting up tensions could lead to more violence and deaths among their adversaries, or at least to the undermining of their credibility and the further distraction of local law enforcement. With a coded reference to the independent cowboy leader Jack Flagg, who had come up from Texas, and his associates they insisted: “The colored troops will have no sympathy for Texan thieves, and these are the troops we want” (quoted in Schubert, “Suggs” 60).

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