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Clive James adds new poem to valedictory work

In Japanese Maple, the terminally ill author writes that he expects autumn will end the game

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort / So slow a fading out brings no real pain, writes Clive James in a new poem in which the terminally ill author contemplates how the arrival of autumn will end the game for him.

Diagnosed with leukaemia and emphysema in 2010, James has over the last year given readers a glimpse into his life through his poetry, last month describing his love for his wife, academic Prue Shaw, in The Emperors Last Words. With a nod to Napoleons final words about his long-estranged wife, Josephine, James ended that poem: Its time to go. High time to go. High time. / France, army, head of the army, Joséphine.

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