The Book of My Enemy
Taking the very best, funniest and most heartfelt of his work from 1958–2003, The Book of My Enemy is the second volume of collected poems from much-loved poet, broadcaster and author of Unreliable Memoirs, Clive James.
'He rejoices in language, and he shows enormous skill in using it' – Sunday Telegraph
The poetry of Clive James achieved immediate notoriety on the publication of this volume's title poem: 'The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered'. Hilarious and self-satirizing, it became one of the most anthologized poems of recent times.
After its publication, James emerged unarguably as one of the most prominent poets of his generation – and The Book of My Enemy shows why. With its broad thematic scope and dazzling technical accomplishment, this collection is one to treasure.
'If you are vacillating over whether a couple of bottles of pinot blanc might, in the short run, prove more fun than a poetry book, then just flick to the first page and the title poem of this volume' – The Times
The Book of My Enemy features a selection of poetry written by James from 1958–2003, and includes within it his previous collection Other Passports.
Clive James (1939–2019) was a broadcaster, critic, poet, memoirist and novelist. His acclaimed poetry includes the collection Sentenced to Life and a translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy, both Sunday Times bestsellers. His passion for and knowledge of poetry are distilled in his book of criticism on the subject, Poetry Notebook, and, written in the last year of his life, his personal annotated anthology of favourite poems, The Fire Of Joy.
Praise for Clive James:
'He will be seen, I think, as one of the most important and influential writers of our time' – Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
'Wise, witty, terrifying, unflinching and extraordinarily alive' – A.S. Byatt, critic and author of Possession: A Romance
'Clive James is a true poet' – Peter Porter, London Review of Books
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, insights, timing and agreeable passion
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
If you are vacillating over whether a couple of bottles of pinot blanc might, in the short run, prove more fun than a poetry book, then just flick to the first page and the title poem of this volume. James writes with exquisite perception and surgical precision; he is a poet of powerful argument and emotional force