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Clive James

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Clive James’s death at his home in Cambridge on 24 November has just been announced. He survived to his surprise and gratitude ten years after a first terminal diagnosis, thanks to the wonders of the hospital here. He leaves, along with much else, a wonderful late flowering of poetry. Here, for now, “Japanese Maple” (2004). Your death, near now, is of an easy sort. So slow a fading out brings no real pain. Breath growing short Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain Of energy, but thought and sight remain: Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls On that small tree And saturates your brick back garden walls, So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls? Ever more lavish as the dusk descends This glistening illuminates the air. It never ends. Whenever the rain comes it will be there, Beyond my time, but now I take my share. My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new. Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame. What I must do Is live to see that. That will end the game For me, though life continues all the same: Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes, A final flood of colors will live on As my mind dies, Burned by my vision of a world that shone So brightly at the last, and then was gone. The post Clive James appeared first on Logic Matters.

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