It came to me the other day:
Were I to die, no one would say,
“Oh, what a shame! So young, so full
Of promise — depths unplumbable!”

Instead, a shrug and tearless eyes
Will greet my overdue demise;
The wide response will be, I know,
“I thought he died a while ago.”

For life’s a shabby subterfuge,
And death is real, and dark, and huge.
The shock of it will register
Nowhere but where it will occur.


This poem is taken from John Updike’s forthcoming collection, “Endpoint and Other Poems.” ( The author died on the 28th of January 2009.


4 thoughts on “Reqiuem”

  1. Coffeerama,

    It is often hard to think whether our generation can surpass the achievements of those that came before us, still I am wont to believe that we are capable of producing the john updikes of our time.

  2. Grimwolfreaper,

    Although man is a wretched, selfish creature whose center of his universe is his mind, still he is a sad being. He does not need to be trampled upon; what he wants is just a little understanding.

  3. It’s kind of disgusting how true that is. People try to value individuals so much, yet when it comes down to it, each of us is as inconsequential as the next. No stranger will cry for us, be touched by our death. It’s yet another in a long string of unknowns.

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