Channel: Poetry | The Guardian
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Clive James on his new epic poem: ‘The story of a mind heading into oblivion’


In and out of hospital, the writer felt compelled to write something new – an epic, with himself as the hero

Until a few days ago, I was a patient in Addenbrooke’s hospital, here in Cambridge, while a busload of nurses and doctors strove to persuade my temperature to stop acting like a wobbling yo-yo. Or anyway I assume they arrived by bus. I myself arrived by ambulance, strapped down against any tendency to slide on to the floor like a speeding custard.

It was a low moment in my recent medical history, but once again the combined efforts of my family and the Addenbrooke’s crash-cart crew dug me out of the hole, so that I have emerged in time to witness the launch of my epic poem, The River In The Sky.

Hell is here, too, but happening to other people, if you’re lucky. I’m still one of the lucky ones

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