In the last book he completed before he died, Clive James offers a personal guide to the poems he found it impossible to forget.
Clive James was the multi-million-copy bestselling author of more than forty books. His poetry collection Sentenced to Life and his translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy were both Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, and his collections of verse were shortlisted for many prizes. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia. He died in 2019.
The Fire of Joy is a proper pleasure. Fun and fight-picking,
wise and persuasive. James loves a layman and, by the end, the
layman certainly loves James. . . "It's a dipper," said my husband,
reading over my shoulder. If I wasn't on review duty, that's the
way I'd read it: dipping in at random, at bedtime, a poem a night
-- Laura Freeman * The Times *
The Fire of Joy is a set of personal, quintessentially Jamesian commentaries on 80 of his favourite poems. * Guardian *
One of the most important and influential writers of our time * Sunday Times *
Few contemporary critics display the passionate commitment to the idea of poetry, and to the idea of poetry's centrality to civilized life, that James does -- John Banville, New York Review of Books
A must for anthology lovers . . . The late, great critic and poet doesn't so much look forward as back; these are old favourites (Byron, Wordsworth, Masefield, Owen) from a lifetime's reading, with personal notes on each one. I found it moving as well as a joy. -- Bel Mooney * Daily Mail *
A wonderful anthology of 80 or so poems to memorise and read aloud, selected by the late critic and humorist Clive James. Enjoy the poems and his witty, opinionated mini-essays about his choices. * The Times *