Saturday, May 23, 2009


Skinny Dipping

John Updike wrote a poem with the title Nuda Natens (which is supposed to mean "naked female swimming"), printed in his Collected Poems, 1953-1993 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), p. 44. The title should be Nuda Natans, as the Latin verb nato belongs to the first conjugation. It's unlikely that this was just a typographical error, as the title is repeated in a note on p. 362.

Updike apparently studied Latin under Eric Havelock (1903-1988) at Harvard — see his poem Apologies to Harvard (id., p. 122: "crossing to Latin / with Cerberean Dr. Havelock").

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