Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Poets and Poems: Clive James and “Sentenced to Life”

Clive James is an essayist, poet, translator of Dante, cultural historian, critic, travel writer,  lyricist, and novelist. As a television critic, he has had a large influence on the development of both British and American television. He’s published five collections of poetry. His translation of The Divine Comedy by Dante was a Sunday Times bestseller. He’s received national honors from both his native Australia and Great Britain.

In 2010, James was diagnosed with leukemia, with a poor prognosis. In 2012, his marriage broke up after he admitted a years-long affair. In 2014, in a poem entitled “Japanese Maple” for The New Yorker, James predicted his own death within a year. He’s sailed close to it a few times, but it is now 2016, and he recently told The Independent that the fact he’s still alive after predicting his death was “embarrassing.”

Embarrassment is better, I’d say.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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