Tom Fleming

Concluding Couplets

Poetry Notebook 2006–2014

By Clive James

Picador 234pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

For a long time this magazine ran a competition for poems that rhymed, scanned and made sense. It was created by Auberon Waugh, then editor, in reaction to what he saw as an overabundance of shamelessly bogus free verse clogging the waters of contemporary poetry (and, perhaps more pertinently, Literary Review’s mailbag). While, understandably, never very fashionable in the literary world, the competition had a decent following, and each month there were one or two of what Clive James calls ‘moments’, those lines of poetry that stand out from the rest and achieve a certain memorability.

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