On the matter of dying and Clive James

Clive James a well known Australian journalist that  has been given a terminal diagnosis and being a journalist has published many beautiful stories and poetry on end of life issues: here is the poem  

“Japanese Maple” by Clive published in the The New Yorker, september 2015:

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.
Breath growing short
Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain
Of energy, but thought and sight remain:
Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see
So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls
On that small tree
And saturates your brick back garden walls,
So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?

Ever more lavish as the dusk descends
This glistening illuminates the air.
It never ends.
Whenever the rain comes it will be there,
Beyond my time, but now I take my share.
My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.
Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.
What I must do
Is live to see that. That will end the game
For me, though life continues all the same:
Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,
A final flood of colors will live on
As my mind dies,
Burned by my vision of a world that shone
So brightly at the last, and then was gone.

Like Kate, Clive talks about the importance of emersing yourself within a moment in time, being mindful of the present and being in the present. He is not wracked by pain but of sweet memories. 

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About Jennifer Carter

I am currently undertaking a PhD on End of Life studies. I have created this blog to discuss with you matters related to end of life.
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