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Re: Clive James: 'Injury Time'
« Reply #1: 15.08.17 at 09:43 »
August 11 2017
Injury Time review: Clive James turns his attention away from his mortality
|Of Clive James' many employments and vocations since he went to Britain in 1962, the most important has always been poetry. It isn't what has made him famous but it's plainly what he'd most like to be remembered for. |
In the six "extra" years since he received a diagnosis of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, James has been much more attentive to this vocation than he once was – even if his Collected Poems 1958-2015 does run to 560 pages.
Injury Time is a worthy successor to his 2015 collection, Sentenced to Life, and covers much of the same ground, albeit with even greater bemusement at his unexpected and almost embarrassing survival. "The old fraud," I recently heard a friend of his joke with some
As James himself says in Advice to a Young Poet, a prose tailpiece to this book: "If even a few people remember a line or two in a poem you wrote, you're not just getting there, you're there. That's it: and all the greater glory is mere vanity." Conceivably, "a line or two" may be setting the bar a bit low but it's a good criterion against which to evaluate the book which offers it.