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John Betjeman's Collected Poems Hardcover – 1 Sep 1989

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; 4th edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719536286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719536281
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

This collection comprises all Betjeman's poetry. His work is known both for its range and mastery of poetic form. Collected Poems was awarded the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize and has sold nearly two million copies.

About the Author

John Betjeman was born in London on 28 August 1906. He was educated at Marlborough and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1931 his first book of poems, 'Mount Zion', was published by an old Oxford friend, Edward James. His second book was 'Ghastly Good Taste', a commentary on architecture, published in 1934. He was knighted in 1969 and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1972. John Betjeman died on 19 May 1984 at his home in Trebetherick, Cornwall and was buried at the nearby church of St Enodoc


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't pretend to be much of an expert on poetry, but when I first read Betjeman's work, I was stunned at the simplicity and beauty of the rhythm he brings to the language. Intelligent and articulate without being pretentious or high-brow, this is nonetheless extraordinary writing by a rare, rare talent. This collection includes some of his later works, perhaps overlooked in the light of his prolific mid-Century output. While not in the same league as his middle period, they still give an insight into a man that excelled at painting images with words.
'Revival ran along the hedge
And made my spirit whole,
With steam upon the windowpane
And glory in my soul.'
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Format: Hardcover
Of all the English poets, Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984) seems to stand alone. His work is hugely popular amongst readers, but because of his `simple' style of incorporating topographical place-names, contemporary allusions, humour (frequently mocking) fused with a melancholy nostalgia for a bygone world, he is never really `accepted' as a poet by fellow poets and critics, including `pseudo-intellectuals' who worship at the altar of T. S. Eliot.
Betjeman, like that other great English poet who suffers much the same snobbish disapproval, A. E. Housman (1859-1936), sought inspiration in the English countryside, towns and villages and conveyed his poetic observations, often witty, urbane and satiric with a light lyrical nostalgia; love is also a major theme, fulfilled and unrequited, with much sadness and regret and written in the structure of the ballad form. But who can fail to fall under the spell of Betjeman with such poems as `Death in Leamington', `The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel', `Slough', `Upper Lambourne', `Myfanwy' and `A Subaltern's Love-song'?
His interests were far-reaching, from architecture, especially the `Gothic Revival' of Victorian Church architecture, (he was founder of the British Victorian Society); railways, social history, provincial towns and conservation. He didn't take himself too seriously, not even as Poet Laureate (1972) and his Collected Works remains as a monument to the measure of the man - remembered for his conservation work, his child-like enthusiasm and as one of the nation's favourite poets! Wonderful!
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Format: Hardcover
This is the poem Slough, by Sir John Betjeman, probably never been here in his life. ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough, it isn’t fit for humans now.’ Right, I don’t think you solve town planning problems by dropping bombs all over the place, he’s embarrassed himself there. Next ‘In labour saving homes with care, their wives frizz out peroxide hair, and dry it in synthetic air, and paint their nails-’ they wanna look nice, what’s the matter, doesn’t he like girls? ‘And talks of sports and makes of cars, and various bogus Tudor bars, and daren’t look up and see the stars, but belch instead.’ What’s he on about? What, has he never burped? ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough, to get it ready for the plough. The cabbages are coming now, the earth exhales-’ He’s the only cabbage round here. And they made him a night of the realm. Overrated.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent collection of Betjeman poems that is a perfect companion to Betjeman's audio cd. Listen, read and enjoy. Brilliant!
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Format: Hardcover
A delightful volume which captures the spirit of Betjeman in all its fullness and wit.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So under rated. So forgotten. And so nearly always right.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prompt and efficient Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
to hold a well looked after 2nd hand book passes something on to the new owner . John Betjeman's poems give a hint of a class system that still exists but is no longer intelligent
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