First Edition of Hoping for A Hoopoe; Inscribed by John Updike

  • Hoping For A Hoopoe (The Carpentered Hen).

Hoping For A Hoopoe (The Carpentered Hen).


Item Number: 3472

London: Victor Gollancz, 1959.

First British edition of the author’s first book, a book of poetry. Octavo, original black cloth. Inscribed by John Updike on the title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket that shows some light wear to the extremities.

Many of these poems were written when John Updike was a young art student in England and a “Talk of the Town” reporter for The New Yorker, which published over forty of them. They deal with the quiddities of things, the oddities of science, quirks of American life (especially as reported in Life magazine during those smiling Eisenhower years), and moments of epiphany in literature and nature. A number—“Ex-Basketball Player,” “Superman,” “Mirror,” “Quilt”—have been frequently reprinted in anthologies. All show a sharp ear, a fond eye, and an active though not always light-hearted fancy. Written mainly to amuse, Updike’s early verse was also, as his foreword states, “a way of dealing with the universe, an exercise of the Word.”

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