Angels Over Elsinore

Clive James

4 based on 12 ratings & 1 reviews on

2010 Nominee

Costa Poetry Award

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25 March 2011
0 pages

Clive James, our most brilliant prose stylist, is also a naturally gifted poet, and Angels Over Elsinore: Collected Verse 2003-2008 is his most accomplished collection of poetry to date. From reminiscences of his Australian childhood and elegies for friends and family to hilarious observations on the state of the language in the twenty-first century and reflections on art, metaphysics, science and faith, Angels Over Elsinore is simultaneousIy witty, passionate and provocative. Fired by the same energy and rigorous intelligence as his prose, his verse displays a breathtaking range – but for all its dazzling variety, one theme sings through James’s inexhaustible fascination with his fellow humans.

James writes with exquisite perception and surgical precision; he is a poet of powerful argument and emotional force


Page after page of The Book of My Enemy confirms James has the primary, sine qua non gifts of a poet. He rejoices in language, and he shows enormous skill in using it

Sunday Telegraph

Reading these poems is like listening to a talking book, which infests the poems with personality, with that familiar braggadocio, that strictly upbeat delivery . . . The poems here have skip, insight, timing and agreeable passion