How wonderful to hear my favourite poet speaking his own words, reading his own poems, hearing him breathe and giving to the whole CD the 'campness' I associate with John Betjeman. Such an ardent admirer of the sporty young woman, floppy haired with grey-green eyes, what he would have made of the overdone and flouncy Stephen Fry reading the lines Betjeman took so much trouble to compose, I cannot imagine. Even though Betjeman is unable to say the word "golf", pronouncing it "goff", I would rather hear his unhurried and confident voice than those of the inevitable hangers on, which there will sadly always be, bathing in the reflected light of a far greater being.
Betjeman might have a statue in memory of him at Euston Station (he hated to see the arch pulled down and would be delighted to know that plans are 'in train' to rebuild it as part of the new Euston) but he was so much more than a preservationist terribly scared of death throughout his life. He was an uncrowned Poet Laureate, a sage, a Merlin whose magic could describe his 1920s to 1970s world so perfectly that anyone of any age can appreciate what common life was like during that important era. Listen to this CD; you will go back in time and be enchanted. God Bless St Enodoc; God Bless John Betjeman!
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