We're delighted to be publishing Clive James' Injury Time, a new collection of deeply moving and life-affirming poems from the beloved critic, broadcaster, novelist and poet, in May 2017.
Clive's previous poetry collection Sentenced to Life was the bestselling original poetry collection in the UK in the year it was published (2015) and became a major literary event.
Facing the end, James looked back over his life with a clear-eyed and unflinching honesty to produce his finest work: poems of extraordinary power that spoke to our most elemental emotions. At the time he was sure these poems would be his last.
James has since said he ‘feels embarrassed to still be here’ and Injury Time finds him with more time on the clock than he had anticipated – and all the more determined to use it wisely and to capture the treasurable moment, and think about how best to live his remaining days while the sense of his own impending absence grows ever more powerfully acute.
In a series of intimate poems – from childhood memories of his mother, to a vision of his granddaughter in graceful acrobatic flight – James declares ‘family’ to be our greatest blessing. He also writes beautifully of the Australia where he began his life, and where he hopes to 'reach the end', while reflecting on the consolation and wisdom to be found in art, music and books.
This Being Done
From Clive James's Injury Time
Behind the trees across the street the sun
Takes down its last pale disc. This being done,
No soft pale light is left for anyone.
There is a further comedown in the night.
Outside, unheard, asphalt is turning white:
White swarms of butterflies in the streetlight.
The morning comes, and through the spread of snow
In candy-coloured coats the children go.
Listen awhile and you can hear them grow.
Injury Time, a new collection of poems from Clive James is out now.