Presenter and journalist Jon Snow has penned an honest and thought-provoking insight into the final collection of poems written by the late Felix Dennis. Dennis, the multi-millionaire, publisher and philanthropist dedicated much of his later years to poetry.
An effort enabling him to produce an impressive variety and volume of pieces, receiving critical praise to boot. His poetry tours - which occasionally offered free wine to audience members - were as popular as they were lively.
Now it's clear Dennis' passion for poetry was with him to the end; an end Snow discerns is accepted unflinching in the poems of I just Stepped Out. Snow notes the collection was right at the heart of Dennis' life leading up to his death (due to throat cancer) in June 2014. Snow recalls:
In those seven months, the people who loved him most would come in their ones, twos, and threes to eat and drink with him. But the great majority of his time and effort was left to this last poetic ambition.
Felix dealt with death as he had dealt with smashing his erstwhile addiction to crack cocaine - cold turkey. His treatment for throat cancer was palliative, he hardly expected a cure.
We here at W&M think the piece, for the Huffington Post, is commendable. Snow lifts the lid just a little on his friendship with Dennis, and provides us a precious, invaluable and sensitive context for some of the poet's final creations. Is I just Stepped Out a true addition to a conversation of works dealing with death? Absolutely, in a near and acutely present manner.
To many, Felix Dennis was a bold character, and one bold enough to address most anything put in front of him directly.
That he took death as both a matter of fact, and a matter of his poetry - right til the last - seems to us an true indication of his passion.
Felix Dennis' I just Stepped Out is published by Ebury, and available now.