'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)
'Falling and Flying: Poems of Ageing is the first collection of its kind to be published in Australia. The editors have selected a broad range of Australian poems which explore the universal experience and effects of ageing. Whether the poets are witnessing themselves or their parents and friends succumb to the years, they speak with great precision and insight into illness, frailty, death, loss, grief, and retirement as well as the joys and the wisdom that late maturity can bring. There is humour as well as sadness in this fine and important collection, which includes the work of some of Australia’s best loved poets, a volume to be cherished by readers of any age.' (Publication summary)