“Your death, near now, is of an easy sort,
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.”
So we are introduced to an interview with one of the UK’s most renowned Australians, in his own prose.
Clive James gave the intimate chat (video above) to Channel 4’s Billie JD Porter about his new collection of poetry, Sentenced To Life.
The celebrated author, critic and journalist is terminally ill with emphysema and leukaemia. Despite the melancholy themes of his latest work, he appears to remain upbeat on facing death.
“I don’t mope around the house all day thinking ‘oh my god, tomorrow I’ll be dead.’ I’m too busy watching Game of Thrones or something. I still behave as if I have forever!” the famously TV addicted James tells Porter.
The 75-year-old Australian says that on approaching death he sees things with a new clarity, but isn’t about to make a last-minute plea to God.
When Porter tells James how Sentenced To Life brought her to tears, James replies: “That sounds about right. I’m thrilled actually. That’s exactly what it’s for.”
“I’m really communicating gratitude rather than sadness,” he adds.
“You’re lucky to have had a life. That’s not even to say blessed because that brings God into it and God has no leg to stand on, in my view.”