Monday, November 26, 2007

Thought I'd share this with the huge amount of people who don't read my blog.

It's by Clive James and it's called


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
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one's enemy's book -
For behold, here is that book
Among those ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seemingly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys,
The sinkers, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of movable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.

Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the glare of the brightly jacketed Hitler's War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyard with a forlorn skyscraper
Of the Kung-Fue Cookbook.

His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed in by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretence,
Is there with Pertwee's Promenades and Pierrots- One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment -
And (oh this above all) his sensibility
His delicate quivering sensibility is now as one
with Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
'My boobs will give everyone hours of fun.'

Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been metered out
to the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
'To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error -
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight of element of sadness, it will be offset
By he memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered.
And I am glad.

(Clive James)

Guess this is poetry for authors


KV said...

Where did you find this gem, Miss Penny? Great stuff . . .

Lotsa love,


Zara Penney said...

Kv - Somebody actually visited me! Ooh I hope I have milk for a cup of tea. LOL

Kathy that came from a book of comic verse I love. Thought it very pertaining to authorship. Clive James is Ozzie. Lives in London and turned into a pumpkin about the same time as feminism burned bras. Betcha he had somebody in mind when he wrote this. ;-)

KV said...

Don't worry about milk for the tea -- I take mine straight and black most of the time.

Lotsa love,