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Wish I'd read him earlier
on 15 November 2006
This was my first introduction to JB. I raced through the entire book in about 2 days and have re-read my favourites many times over since then.
Maybe it's because his views coincide with my own in so many ways, maybe the language he uses, maybe I'm just nostalgic for the rose-tinted past, but something in his writing is absolutely captivating.
I recently saw Joanna Lumley reading one of his poems (Myfanwy) on TV. It could have been written for her, and has become my favourite, perhaps taking me back to my own days at boarding school.
For me, that's the thing about Betjeman - he's so accessible to someone like me who doesn't know much about poetry that his writing allows me to feel as though I'm in the middle of it all, looking around me.
I know this review will be of little use to Betjeman aficionados, but perhaps it may serve as an encouragement for anyone who is not familiar with him to make an effort to get to know him better. It's a journey well worth taking (even if, like I do, you live not a million miles away from Slough).