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The Fire of Joy

The Fire of Joy

Roughly 80 Poems to Get by Heart and Say Aloud

by Clive James

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 29/09/2020

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Essentially, this is Clive James' desert island poems: a selection of his favourite verse and a personal commentary on each.

The Fire of Joy was the final book Clive James completed before his death in 2019. It takes its title from the French expression Feu de Joie, which refers to a military celebration when all the riflemen of a regiment fire one shot after another in a wave of continuous sound: it is a reminder that the regiment’s collective power relies on the individual, and vice versa.

In this book, James has chosen a succession of English poems, exploding in sequence from Chaucer to the present day; they tell the story of someone writing something wonderful, and someone else coming along, reading it, and feeling impelled to write something even more wonderful. After a lifetime, these are the poems James found so good that he remembered them despite himself. In offering them to you, the main purpose of this book is to provide ammunition that will satisfy your urge to discover, learn and declaim verse.

As well as his selection of poems, James offers a commentary on each: whether this is a biographical, historical or critical introduction to the poem, or a more personal anecdote about the role a particular poem has played in James's life, these mini essays provide the joy of James's enthusiasm and the benefit of his knowledge. Full of the flashing fires of poems you will not be able to forget, this book will ignite your passion and leave you with a contagious crackle rattling in your ears.

ISBN:
9781529059366
9781529059366
Category:
Poetry anthologies (various poets)
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
29-09-2020
Publisher:
Pan Macmillan
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
320
Dimensions (mm):
234x153mm
Clive James

Clive James is 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 have been shortlisted for many prizes.

In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Clive James passed away from cancer in November 2019.

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