An Acclaimed And Award-Winning Writer Of Fiction, Essays,

1141 WordsMar 5, 20175 Pages
An acclaimed and award-winning writer of fiction, essays, and reviews, John Updike also wrote poetry for most of his life. Born and raised in Shillington, Pennsylvania in 1932-died on January 27, 2009. Luckily, he was accepted to Harvard College and graduated in 1954. This is what turned his life around. After school was done, he worked for a few years on the staff of The New Yorker. When his writing abilities were finally noticed, he got the idea to start writing poetry and short stories. One poem he wrote was “Ex basketball player” its about an excellent basketball star in high school named Flick Webb, but nowadays he is merely a gas station attendant (Updike). Does John Updike pity or admire Flick? Are readers of the poem meant to…show more content…
The second stanza is a imagery of Flick at Berth’s Garage, standing “tall among the idiot pumps.” The “bubble-head style” of gas pump, old-fashioned even at the time the poem was written in 1954, features a glass globe on top: In earlier decades of the twentieth century, gasoline was often sold at stations that might sell more than one brand, the brand identified by the globe. One of the pumps at Berth’s dispenses Esso brand gasoline, and the narrator of the poem sees it and the other pumps as athletes, the hoses “rubber elbows hanging loose and low” like a basketball player. Another squat pump, with no head, is “more of a football type (Jason).” Stanza 3 talks about Flick’s past accomplishments. In high school Flick used to be the best basketball player on the Wizards team. He could score upwards of 40 points per game. The metaphor used is “his hands were like wild birds (Updike).” This could mean that his hands were all over the place or that his hands were always moving. Stanza 4 is the crossroads in the poem. It essentially says, even though he was a great basketball player it took him nowhere in life. Instead of being productive and earning money by going to school, he has not used his resources and is stuck with a low paying job at Berth’s Garage changing tires. The metaphor that is very important in this stanza is “As a
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