John Updike Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

John Updike Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

An appropriate starting point for an analysis of John Updike’s poetry is Charles T. Samuels’s summary remark in his brief study of the writer: “In verse,” Samuels notes, Updike “frequently exploits the familiar,” often simply “as an occasion to display his talent for comic rhyme.” What strikes the reader immediately about Updike’s poems is his heavy reliance on everyday experience, whether autobiographical or generic, and the way he manipulates language to achieve distinctive, often unusual and amusing, rhyming and rhythmical patterns. Reviewers of individual volumes of Updike’s work have not always been convinced, however, that this kind of rhetorical gamesmanship has offered sufficient compensation for a body...

(The entire section is 3383 words.)