John Betjeman, fully Sir John Betjeman

Betjeman, fully Sir John Betjeman

English Poet, Writer and Broadcaster

Author Quotes

He sipped at a weak hock and seltzer as he gazed at the London skies through the Nottingham lace of the curtains or was it his bees-winged eyes?

Late-Flowering Lust: My head is bald, my breath is bad, unshaven is my chin, I have not now the joys I had when I was young in sin. I run my fingers down your dress with brandy-certain aim and you respond to my caress and maybe feel the same. But I've a picture of my own on this reunion night, wherein two skeletons are shewn to hold each other tight; dark sockets look on emptiness which once was loving-eyed, the mouth that opens for a kiss has got no tongue inside. I cling to you inflamed with fear as now you cling to me, I feel how frail you are my dear and wonder what will be--A week? or twenty years remain? And then--what kind of death? A losing fight with frightful pain or a gasping fight for breath? Too long we let our bodies cling, we cannot hide disgust at all the thoughts that in us spring from this late-flowering lust.

Soft and sun-warm, see her glide.

And behind their frail partitions business women lie and soak, seeing through the draughty skylight flying clouds and railway smoke. Rest you there, poor unbelov'd ones, lap your loneliness in heat, all too soon the tiny breakfast, trolley-bus and windy street!

He would have liked to say goodbye, shake hands with many friends. In Highgate now his finger-bones stick through his finger-ends. You, God, who treat him thus and thus, say, Save his soul and pray. You ask me to believe You and I only see decay.

Let us hold hands and look.

Steam took us onwards, through the ripening fields, ripe for development. Where the landscape yields clay for warm brick, timber for post and rail through Amersham to

And here, screened by shrubs, walled in from public view, lived the kept women. What puritan arms have stretched within these rooms to touch what tender breasts, as the cab-horse stamped in the road outside. sweet secret suburb on the City's rim, St John's Wood.

History must not be written with bias, and both sides must be given, even if there is only one side.

Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another-

Stony seaboard, far and foreign, stony hills poured over space, stony outcrop of the Burren, stones in every fertile place.

And is it true And is it true, This most tremendous tale of all, Seen in a stained-glass window's hue, A Baby in an ox's stall.

Hymn tunes are the nearest we've got to English folk music.

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn, furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun, what strenuous singles we played after tea, we in the tournament ? you against me!

The sort of girl I like to see Smiles down from her great height at me.

And marbled clouds go scudding by the many-steepled London sky.

Hymns are the poetry of the people.

No hope. And the X-ray photographs under his arm confirm the message. His wife stands timidly by. The opposite brick-built house looks lofty and calm, its chimneys steady against the mackerel sky.

The test of an abstract picture, for me, is not my first reaction to it, but how long I can stand it hanging on the wall of a room where I am living.

And now, dear Lord, I cannot wait; Because I have a luncheon date.

I am a young executive. No cuffs than mine are cleaner; I have a Slimline brief-case and I use the firm's Cortina.

Now if the harvest is over, And the world cold, Give me the bonus of laughter, As I lose hold.

There are two thing you need for a jolly good hymn.The first is a set of words that expresses the mood or sentiment of the worshipper.The second-and perhaps even more important- is a good tune..with a simple popular melody.

Aylesbury and the Vale. In those wet fields the railway didn't pay. The Metro stops at Amersham to-day.

I don't think I am any good. If I thought I was any good, I wouldn't be.

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Betjeman, fully Sir John Betjeman
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English Poet, Writer and Broadcaster