An acclaimed and award-winning writer of fiction, essays, and reviews, John Updike also wrote poetry for most of his life. Growing up in Pennsylvania, his early inspiration to be a writer came from watching his mother, an aspiring writer, submit her work to magazines. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation.
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An acclaimed and award-winning writer of fiction, essays, and reviews, John Updike also wrote poetry for most of his life. Growing up in Pennsylvania, his early inspiration to be a writer came from watching his mother, an aspiring writer, submit her work to magazines. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library.
Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous. Ex-Basketball Player. By John Updike. Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,. Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off. Most days, you'll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out.
Once Flick played for the high-school team, the Wizards. A county record still. The ball loved Flick. In one home game. His hands were like wild birds. He never learned a trade, he just sells gas,. Checks oil, and changes flats. Once in a while,. His hands are fine and nervous on the lug wrench.
It makes no difference to the lug wrench, though. Grease-gray and kind of coiled, he plays pinball,. Smokes those thin cigars, nurses lemon phosphates. Beyond her face toward bright applauding tiers. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A.
All rights reserved. Source: Collected Poems Alfred A. Knopf, Basketball Poems. Poetry about great players, unusual teams, and flashy moves. Read More. More Poems by John Updike. To a Former Mistress, Now Dead. Back from Vacation.
Elderly Sex. Down Time. See All Poems by this Author. See a problem on this page? More About This Poem. About this Poet. Read Full Biography. More About this Poet. Region: U. Quick Tags.
Analysis of "Ex-Basketball Player" by John Updike
Book: The Pearl. Topics: Poems Summary , Poetry. Updike was born in in Pennsylvania, and is most renowned for his works as a novelist. This poem is a subtle tragedy, as it describes a common occurrence in our world of dreams being unfulfilled. The poem is a narrative, told from the perspective of one of the residents of the town in which Flick, the protagonist, used to play basketball. The theme of this poem is longing.
Flick was once the best basketball player in the area. Updike laces this poem with proper diction, figurative language, and allusions to the post-World War II era. These elements have a great effect on the tone and meaning of the poem. It turns past the high school, his glory days, and halts abruptly at the gas station where he will most likely work for the rest of his life. An analysis of "Ex-Basketball Player" shows that John Updike does an effective job of conveying the possible consequences of failing to acquire valuable skills and knowledge. Flick had the talent necessary to shine in high school athletics. Unfortunately, those skills are obsolete after graduation day.