Dec 012019

Clive James passed away Nov 24, 2019.

An internet search throws up numerous tributes.

James penned:   Stop worrying.  Nobody gets out of this life alive!

The 2014 interview of Clive James by Michael Enright (CBC The Sunday Edition), was re-broadcast on December 1st, 2019.  Humour and insight:

Wikipedia overview:

James read this poem in the 2014 interview by Enright:


“Holding Court”,  2013


Retreating from the world, all I can do

Is build a new world, one demanding less

Acute assessments. Too deaf to keep pace

With conversation, I don’t try to guess

At meanings, or unpack a stroke of wit,

But just send silent signals with my face

That claim I’ve not succumbed to loneliness

And might be ready to come in on cue.

People still turn towards me where I sit.


I used to notice everything, and spoke

A language full of details that I’d seen,

And people were amused; but now I see

Only a little way. What can they mean,

My phrases? They come drifting like the mist

I look through if someone appears to be

Smiling in my direction. Have they been?

This was the time when I most liked to smoke.

My watch-band feels too loose around my wrist.


My body, sensitive in every way

Save one, can still proceed from chair to chair,

But in my mind the fires are dying fast.

Breathe through a scarf. Steer clear of the cold air.

Think less of love and all that you have lost.

You have no future so forget the past.

Let this be no occasion for despair.

Cherish the prison of your waning day.

Remember liberty, and what it cost.


Be pleased that things are simple now, at least.

As certitude succeeds bewilderment.

The storm blew out and this is the dead calm.

The pain is going where the passion went.

Few things will move you now to lose your head

And you can cause, or be caused, little harm.

Tonight you leave your audience content:

You were the ghost they wanted at the feast,

Though none of them recalls a word you said.


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