John Updike passed away.
Such a substantial loss.
It was my friend Christopher who informed me of this, and also he who introduced me to Updike's work several years ago. I read the novel A Month of Sundays at his insistence, and it became one of my all-time favorites.
His poem Dog's Death is also a favorite, irrefutably poignant and moving; something I wish I could have written to honor a beloved canine companion.
This poem, quoted on his fan page as well, is clearly the ideal memorial:
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, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
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.