Sabtu, 31 Januari 2009

Perfection Wasted

Garrison Keillor just read Updike's poem, "Perfection Wasted," on PHC. Of course, it's the perfect selection. My friend Julie Stivers beat him to it, though. She posted it earlier this week, and so I have had fine reminders of it twice in one week.

Perfection Wasted

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market--
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, these loved ones nearest
the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,

their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,

their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.

--John Updike

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