View Full Version : John Betjeman
Stanley the 2nd
January 10, 2009, 12:02 AM
I was curious if there were any other John Betjeman fans on this forum? Morrissey said that Betjeman was his cultural icon in a BBC interview a while back and I have to agree. Banana Blush is essential listening as are the recordings of him narrating his poetry. I like the humour as well as the more morbid undercurrents in his poetry. Similar to Morrissey's lyrics in many ways.
Love to all,
January 10, 2009, 12:14 AM
I LOVE Betjeman.
I didn't know his work until I saw that episode of The Office, where David Brent reads the poem 'Slough', after hearing it I thought "Wow, that reminds me of 'Every Day Is Like Sunday'!" Then I promptly went out and found some of his work, and have, ever since adored it.
The Spirit of '69
January 10, 2009, 12:18 AM
Mr Betjeman is a Legend. To wit:
The last year's leaves are on the beech:
The twigs are black; the cold is dry;
To deeps byond the deepest reach
The Easter bells enlarge the sky.
O ordered metal clatter-clang!
Is yours the song the angels sang?
You fill my heart with joy and grief -
Belief! Belief! And unbelief...
And, though you tell me I shall die,
You say not how or when or why.
Indifferent the finches sing,
Unheeding roll the lorries past:
What misery will this year bring
Now spring is in the air at last?
For, sure as blackthorn bursts to snow,
Cancer in some of us will grow,
The tasteful crematorium door
Shuts out for some the furnace roar;
But church-bells open on the blast
Our loneliness, so long and vast.
Truly Truly Truly
January 10, 2009, 12:45 AM
Devonshire Street W.1 is one of my favourites. Especially the last verse.
January 10, 2009, 02:53 AM
I particularly like Indoor Games at Newbury.
'A love that lay too deep for kissing, where is Wendy, Wendy's missing, a love so pure it HAD to end.'
I was fascinated to find many years ago that Neil Tennant had stolen a line out of it and used it in Your Funny Uncle which is one of my favourite PSB songs.
I really like another poem, Executive, which was what I first thought of when I read the lyrics to Good Looking Man About Town.'
Another excellent poet (IMHO) is Kingsley Amis. Of course much better known as a novelist but I also think a very fine and underrated poet.
Letter to Elizabeth and Elizabeth's Intermezzo are particularly good.
January 10, 2009, 03:13 AM
Talks about places too much.
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