The River in the Sky

Clive James

01 September 2022
128 pages
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 jinks
This 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.