top of page
  • D A Howe

The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

Many years ago, Clive James wrote a poem expressing his joy at realizing a fellow author’s book wasn’t selling. (Schadenfreude, anyone?)  If you haven’t read it, you should, for it’s quite rightly one of his most liked, and well known poems.

Here’s the first verse:

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-praised efforts sits in piles In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs. Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles One passes down reflecting on life’s vanities, Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews Lavished to no avail upon one’s enemy’s book – For behold, here is that book Among these ranks and banks of duds, These ponderous and seemingly irreducible cairns Of complete stiffs.

Now go over to Clive James’s site and enjoy the rest of the poem.

The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered

bottom of page