Clive James's reputation as a poet has become impossible to ignore. His poems looking back over his extraordinarily rich life with a clear-eyed and unflinching honesty, such as 'Japanese Maple' (first published in the New Yorker in 2014), became global news events upon their publication.
In this book, James makes his own rich selection from over fifty years' work in verse: from his early satires to these heart-stopping valedictory poems, he proves himself to be as well suited to the intense demands of the tight lyric as he is to the longer mock-epic. Collected Poems displays James's fluency and apparently effortless style, his technical skill and thematic scope, his lightly worn erudition and his emotional power; it undoubtedly cements his reputation as one of the most versatile and accomplished writers.
In the media
James writes with exquisite perception and surgical precision; he is a poet of powerful argument and emotional force
A writer whose commanding voice contains a constant variety of colour and tone
Robert McCrum Observer
After writing poems for 50 years, his technique is deft and assured
Independent on Saturday
He is a unique figure, a straddler of genres and a bridger of the gaps between high and low culture. He will be seen, I think, as one of the most important and influential writers of our time
Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times