Almanac Poetry: The Poem of My Enemy Has Not Been Anthologised


Master of the Playing Cards, A Poet Reading, engraving on laid paper, 1430s, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. [Source: Wikimedia Commons.]


The Poem of My Enemy Has Not Been Anthologised
(with acknowledgement to Clive James)


The poem of my enemy has not been anthologised
and I am glad.
Although, in my time, she won the university prize
for poetry, it was due
to her politicking, personal charms
and ability to arouse
the flaccid professor-poet
who headed our English Department.


A sublimely irritating schmoozer,
she was never short of tutoring work
or obscure, unadvertised scholarships
to research the arcane overseas.
But the poem of my enemy has not been anthologised
– she’s been cut off at the knees!


Her work has always been crap
– overworked, mannered, obvious stuff,
devoid of unconscious feeling,
written to give the academic
cognoscenti she flutters about
precisely what she knows they want.
Yes! The poem of my enemy has not been anthologised
and I am deliriously, weepingly glad.


I missed out too.



(Acknowledgements: previously appeared in Other Poetry (UK), 2004; anthologised in Miracle and Clockwork – the Best of Other Poetry Series Two (UK), 2005; my first poetry collection, Vigorous Vernacular, Picaro Press, 2008, reprinted by Ginninderra Press, 2018.)





Read more from Kevin Densley HERE

Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE

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Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, will be published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Interesting.

    I did have to tell myself this poem has a narrator. And not to confuse poet and narrator!

    Nice nod to Clive James poem.

  2. Just found the link to the Clive James poem.

  3. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the comments, JTH.

    Yes, of course you’re right that the poem has a narrator/speaker (not quite me – one creates a persona to write from their point-of-view). However, it does explore a particular kind of emotion that writers and poets can have. You’ll also have noted in this poem that the narrator/speaker’s joy was undermined by the fact that he was also not anthologised! (Though this poem itself was, ironically.)

    I’m a fan of the late Clive’s poetry. “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered” is a beauty.

  4. DBalassone says

    She sounds like a piece of work. I don’t think she would sweat like Gabriela Sabatini.

  5. Kevin Densley says

    Ha, Damian! Thanks for that – bringing up another Clive James, dare I say, cracker of a poem: ‘Bring me the sweat of Gabriela Sabatini’.

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