John Updike's "Shipbored"
This morning, I came across an article, "Requiem," written by Wes Davis in The New Republic about the death of John Updike, and it led me to read an Updike poem that I hadn't seen before:
I found this poem with the image and notes at the CRS Archives -- hosted by the CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry . . . of all places to find an Updike poem!That line is the horizon line. (1)Shipbored
The blue above it is divine. (2)
The blue below it is marine. (3)
Sometimes the blue below is green. (4)
Sometimes the blue above is gray,
Betokening a cloudy day. (5)
Sometimes the blue below is white,
Foreshadowing a windy night. (6)
Sometimes a drifting coconut
Or albatross adds color, but (7)
The blue above is mostly blue.
The blue below and I are, too. (8)
The first four lines of this poem also appear in the central story of a short story triptych, "The Blessed Man of Boston, My Grandmother's Thimble, and Fanning Island," written in the spring of 1961, or so I have from pages 75-76 of William H. Pritchard's Updike biography, Updike: America's Man of Letters (2005). Wes Davis, however, informs us that the full poem was written in 1954.
I'm curious where CRS obtained it, for the CRS Archives provide the late date 1969, and seem to imply that the image comes from Updike's own hand.
Does anybody know where the image originates?