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y separately published work icon Sentenced to Life selected work   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Sentenced to Life
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In his new collection of poems - several of which have already become famous before their book publication - Clive James looks back over an extraordinarily rich life with a clear-eyed and unflinching honesty. There are regrets, but no trace of self-pity in these verses, which - for all their open dealings with death and illness - are primarily a celebration of what is treasurable and memorable in our time here.

Again and again, James reminds us that he is not only a poet of effortless wit and lyric accomplishment: he is also an immensely wise one, who delights in using poetic form to bring a razor-sharp focus to his thought. Miraculously, these poems see James writing with his insight and energy not only undiminished but positively charged by his situation: Sentenced to Life represents a career high point from one of the greatest literary intelligences of the age.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: to Prue

    If you're the dreamer, I'm your dream, but when

    You wish to wake I am your wish, and grow

    As mighty as all mastery, and then

    As silent as a star

    Ablaze above the city that we know

    As Time: so very strange, so very far.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,:Pan Macmillan Australia , 2015 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Sentenced to Lifei"Sentenced to life, I sleep face-up as though", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 1-2)
Driftwood Housesi"The ne plus ultra of our lying down,", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 3)
Landfalli"Hard to believe, now, that I once was free", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 4-5)
Early to Bedi"Old age is not my problem. Bad health, yes.", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 6)
My Homei"Grasping at straws, I bless another day", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 7)
Holding Courti"Retreating from the world, all I can do", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 8-9)
Procedure for Disposali"It may not come to this, but if I should", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 10)
Manly Ferryi"Too frail to fly, I may not see again", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 11-12)
Tempe Dumpi"I always thought the showdown would be sudden,", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 13)
Living Dolli"An Aufstehpuppe is a stand-up guy", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 14)
Event Horizoni"For years we fooled ourselves. Now we can tell", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 15-16)
Nature Programmei"The female panda is on heat", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 17)
Managing Angeri"On screen, the actor smashes down the phone.", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 18-19)
Echo Pointi"I am the echo of the man you knew.", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 20)
Too Much Lighti"My cataracts invest the bright spring day", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 21)
My Latest Feveri"My latest fever clad me in cold sweat", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 22-23)
The Emperor's Last Wordsi"An army that never leaves its defences", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 24-25)
Compendium Catullianumi"My girlfriend's sparrow is dead. It is an ex-sparrow", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 26)
Bugsy Siegel's Flying Eyei"In Havana, at the Hotel Nacional", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 27-28)
Only the Immortal Need Applyi"In Paris, at Diaghilev's Cleopatra -", Clive James , single work poetry (p. 29)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Writing Toward the Twilight, Prolifically Dwight Garner , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 14 January 2016; (p. C1)

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry ; Latest Readings Clive James , 2015 selected work essay
Counting the Bees : Death and Regret in Clive James's New Poetry Peter Goldsworthy , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 373 2015; (p. 9-10)

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
'Clive James’s series of memoirs began in 1980 with the Unreliable one. Thirty-five years and four more very funny books later, the Five Lives of Clive have been rounded with a sixth: a slim volume of poems. It is probably also the most reliable, as if, paradoxically, James took more poetic licence when working in prose. The prevailing tone is a long way from the hilarious self-deprecation of the memoirs. Of course, the knowledge that one is to die tomorrow – or at best next year – concentrates the mind. That impending death, and the guilts and regrets that accompany it, belong to the category of what James calls ‘deeper considerations’ in his recent (and indispensable) collection of essays, Poetry Notebook (2014).' (9)
Poetry : Sentenced to Life Aaron Jelbart , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Good Reading , May 2015; (p. 21)

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
Review : Sentenced to Life DL , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 11 April 2015;

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
We Are Stardust : The Restrained Elegance of Clive James's Sentenced to Life John Burnside , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: New Statesman , 16 April 2015;

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
Flame of Fire Mark Mordue , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4-5 April 2015; (p. 16-17)

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
Sure-footed James Runs a Fine Mile Geoff Page , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 11 April 2015; (p. 16)

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
Last Confessions of a Wordsmith Robert Gray , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2-3 May 2015; (p. 26-27) The Age , 2-3 May 2015; (p. 26)

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
We Are Stardust : The Restrained Elegance of Clive James's Sentenced to Life John Burnside , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: New Statesman , 16 April 2015;

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
Review : Sentenced to Life DL , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 11 April 2015;

— Review of Sentenced to Life Clive James , 2015 selected work poetry
In Death as In Verse Trent Dalton , 2015 single work interview
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 March 2015; (p. 8-9)
'Clive James sits down with TrentDalton to reflect on the true meaning of his poetry.'
The Truth Found in Poetry May Help Us Die, but It Can Also Teach Us about Life Clive James , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 May 2015; (p. 18)
Last amended 8 Jul 2015 11:47:35
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