John Updike is usually most well-remembered for his novels, which I have admittedly not read. His poetry, however, was crucial to my understanding of the inner-connectivity in the world around us. The Banal and the Sacred co-habitate within his poems seamlessly, and he speaks with a voice so familiar, so modern, that it shakes your core to recognize the deep truths within.
Currently, I am a dramatic writing grad student at NYU, and I started on this path during my sophomore year of college, largely thanks to Mr. Updike's influence. Someone read aloud to me his poem "Dog's Death," at a time when I was plagued with illness for nearly a month, and it struck me to my very core: A simple little story about a man and his dog, laid out to explicate a truth of existence. I wrote my first screenplay borrowing that poem, and the experience, and the script itself, have gotten me to where I am today. Thank you, Mr. Updike.