Clive James’s book-length poem The River in the Sky is superb, an epic lament, written in late life, filled with exact and moving observations about life and culture. “If my ashes end up in an hour-glass,” he wrote, “I can go on working.”A collection of intellectual agility, playfulness and high jinksThis ranging poem moves like a river, dawdling sometimes then opening out into its full force. Clive James is gathering a life full of event, people, humour and remorse, books and writing: all now present in the copiousness of memory. It is a book written in the knowledge that death is coming near. It feels, and communicates, the pleasures of being alive in your one inimitable life.Clive James delivered another book-length poem from the abyss, The River in the Sky, defying death again while revealing himself to be one of the most vital poets writing in English.A soaring autobiographical poem, meditating on death and celebrating life, from one of our most cherished, critically acclaimed and bestselling writers.Clive James was the multi-million-copy bestselling author of more than forty books. As well as his memoirs, he has published essays, literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels. As a television performer he has appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. His poetry collection Sentenced to Life and his translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy were both Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, and his collections of verse were shortlisted for many prizes. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia. He died in 2019.
|TheRiver in the Sky
Clive James was the author of more than forty books. As well as essays, he published collections of literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels, plus five volumes of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week Was In June, North Face of Soho and The Blaze of Obscurity. As a television performer he appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. He published several poetry collections, including the Sunday Times bestseller Sentenced to Life, and a translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, which was also a Sunday Times bestseller. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He holds honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013, an Officer of the Order of Australia. He died in 2019.