A Poem for World Mosquito Day

World Mosquito Day: on August 20, 1897, Sir Ronald Ross, British physician, discovers that female mosquitoes transit malaria between humans. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has held annual celebrations of the day since the 1930s

John Updike (1932-2009) American novelist, short-story writer, art critic, poet, and literary critic. One of only four writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once, along with Booth Tarkington, Wliiam Faulkner, and Colson Whitehead. Updike won in 1982 for Rabbit Is Rich, and in 1991 for Rabbit At Rest. Among many other honors, he also won the American Book Award for fiction, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for both fiction and criticism. His collections of poetry include Facing Nature: Poems, Collected Poems: 1953–1993, and Americana and Other Poems (2001).

To read Johnn Updike’s poem “The Mosquito” click:



The Mosquito

by John Updike

On the fine wire of her whine she walked
Unseen in the ominous bedroom dark
A traitor to her camouflage, she talked
A thirsty blue streak distinct as a spark,
I was to her a fragrant lake of blood
From which she had to sip a drop or die
A reservoir, a lavish field of food
I lay awake, unconsious of my size
We seem fair-matched opponents, soft she dropped
Down like a anchor on her thread of song
Her nose sank thankfully in; then i slapped
At the sting on my arm, cunning and strong
A cunning, strong gargantua. i struck
This lover pinned in the feast of my flesh
Lulled by my blood, relaxed, half-sated, stuck
Engrossed in the gross rivers of myself
Success, without a cry the creature died
Became a fleck of fluff upon the sheet
The small welt of remorse subsides as side
By side we, murderer and murdered, sleep.


“The Mosquito” by John Updike, appeared in The New Yorker, June 11, 1960 —


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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