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W. W. Norton & Company
<p><strong>Inspired, through his vast reading, by the poetic voices of the past, yet always speaking in a voice unmistakably his own, Clive James ineffably combines humor and great tragedy (but never solemnity) to create poems that are at once traditional yet engagingly fresh.</strong></p> With this coruscating work, James, swimming through cultural debris both high and low, dispenses with his reputation as a perennial court jester, establishing himself as a poet of enduring power and resonance. <p><em>from "Angels Over Elsinore"</em></p> <p><em>How many angels knew who Hamlet was</em></p> <p><em>When they were summoned by Horatio?</em></p> <p><em>They probably showed up only because</em></p> <p><em>The roster said it was their turn to go.</em></p> <p><em>Another day, another Dane. Too bad,</em></p> <p><em>But while they sang their well-rehearsed lament</em></p> <p><em>They noticed his good looks. Too soon, too sad,</em></p> <p><em>This welcome home for what seemed heaven sent.</em></p>