EX-basketball analysis

This poem, gave me a lot of thoughts. That future is very UNPREDICTABLE. That, you always have to be opened to many instance. Do you like playing basketball? Why? or Why not?

Ex-Basketball Player
by John Updike
Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,
Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off
Before it has a chance to go two blocks,
At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth’s Garage
Is on the corner facing west, and there,
Most days, you’ll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out.

Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—
Five on a side, the old bubble-head style,
Their rubber elbows hanging loose and low.
One’s nostrils are two S’s, and his eyes
An E and O. And one is squat, without
A head at all—more of a football type.

Once Flick played for the high-school team, the Wizards.
He was good: in fact, the best. In ’46
He bucketed three hundred ninety points,
A county record still. The ball loved Flick.
I saw him rack up thirty-eight or forty
In one home game. His hands were like wild birds.

He never learned a trade, he just sells gas,
Checks oil, and changes flats. Once in a while,
As a gag, he dribbles an inner tube,
But most of us remember anyway.
His hands are fine and nervous on the lug wrench.
It makes no difference to the lug wrench, though.

Off work, he hangs around Mae’s Luncheonette.
Grease-gray and kind of coiled, he plays pinball,
Smokes those thin cigars, nurses lemon phosphates.
Flick seldom says a word to Mae, just nods
Beyond her face toward bright applauding tiers
Of Necco Wafers, Nibs, and Juju Beads.

Title(before reading)
This must be a poem about a person who used to play in a team but now retired.

1. Pearl Avenue, trolley tracks, Colonel Mc Comsky Plaza, works in a garage
2 Back then , in high-school were players squatting, moving around, elbowing, to get the ball while playing basketball.
3.There was a boy in the team who was the best player.
4.The best player of the team is now selling gas, checking oils and changing flat tires.
5. The ex- best player of the team smokes and seems like he is not living a desirable life to the poet.

Flashback: “He was good:in fact, the best” -Tells us that this event had happened in the past.
Personification:”The ball loved flick” -Tells us that Flick was good at controlling the ball.
Simile: “His hands were like wild birds”- His hands were moving fast during the game.
Personification : “It makes no difference to the lug wrench, though”- I
“Five on a side” :Flick is being compared to the gas pumps -the author here is showing us that Flick is kind of an idiot himself.

-Exemplifies the pitifulness toward the ex-best basketball player boy.(1. He never learned a trade, he just sells gas. 2. As a gag, he dribbles an inner tube)

4th stanza 4th line  “But…..” Before the word  “But” was mentioned all of the poem was talking about the past days . When the boy was the best team member. However,  after the word “But” the poem shows his current jobs and how different he became.

Title(After reading)
This poem is about an ex-basketball player who was the ace of the team in the high-school basketball team but now, nothing better than a gas seller.

One day the poet, john Updike recalls his memory of high school. He was in a basketball team. He kept on a boy in his team because he had an outstanding basketball skills. He was the best player of the team. Few years had past and now they are all graduated from high school and now they are out in the society. One day John Updike sees the boy who used to be the best player in the team selling gas and changing tiers and smoking. John , had though he would grow up and become a great basketball player. But John was wrong.
In the first stanza he was recalling his memory of him in high school. He described the atmosphere. However, as he thinks about his high school life it reminded him of his high school basketball team. Thus, one of the best players who has turned into a seller of gas. The poet had expected him that he would be a basketball player. Because he was talented and he was the best player of the team. However, as he sees his (ex-basketball) living condition at the moment. The good memories of high school is turned into a pitiful mood toward the ex-basketball player.


1. Future is un-expectable
2. Prepare for the future.
3.Be opened to many different cases.
4. Do not work on only the things that you like and enjoy. Try to learn even if it is something that less entertains you .
5. People should move on , not just sticking to one important memory
6. Things are not ever-lasting, you should be prepared for the future, do not limit yourself.

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