Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Too Much Light / by Clive James

My cataracts invest the bright spring day
With extra glory, with a glow that stings.
The shimmering shields above the college gates –
Heraldic remnants of the queens and kings  –
Flaunt liquid paint here at the end of things
When my vitality at last abates,
And all these forms bleed, spread and make a blur
Of what, to second sight, they are and were.

And now I slowly pace, a stricken beast,
Across a lawn which must be half immersed
In crocuses and daffodils, but I
Can only see for sure the colours burst
And coalesce as if they were the first
Flowers I ever saw. Thus, should I die,
I'll go back through the gate I entered when
My eyes were stunned, as now they are again.