Betjeman On Buttered Toast

url (20)I do not think that what is said or written matters, but what is felt. Often the most `serious` feelings are expressed in a joke. I very rarely talk about what I really feel.

Dawlish, by John Betjeman:


Bird – watching colonels on the old sea wall,                                                                                 

Down here at Dawlish where the slow trains crawl:                

Low tide lifting, on a shingle shore,                                                                                                  

Long-sunk islands from the sea once more:

Red cliffs rising where the wet sands run,                                                                                    

Gulls reflecting in the sharp spring sun;

Pink – washed plaster by a sheltered patch,  

Ilex shadows upon a velvet thatch:                                                                               

What interiors those names suggest!  

Queen of lodgings in the warm south-west…………..                                                                                         

John Betjeman is the quintessential English poet; his disarmingly gentle, melodic verse disguising the underlying satire and sharp, observational wit. As he travelled the length and breadth of his beloved England, his razor edged eyes never missed a stroke. Everything was seen and filed away for future reference; he created the taste by which he was and is enjoyed. He was an artist of limitless technical skill and aplomb; his style one of disarming everyday simplicity. This was the genius of the man; the Englishness of his poetry as filling and spiritually nourishing as buttered toast for tea……………………..

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