Editor’s Note: The following poem was written by Clive James. I haven’t been able to reach the author and secure permission for posting it here, so I will simply share the first of 4 stanzas and link to the author’s website (where you will find the rest of the poem).
The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy’s much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life’s vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one’s enemy’s book —
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seeminly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.
image by brewbooks