John Betjeman

Rookie (28 August 1906 – 19 May 1984 / London, England)

John Betjeman
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Sir John Betjeman, CBE was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack".

He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture. Starting his career as a journalist, he ended it as one of the most popular British Poets Laureate to date and a much-loved figure on British television.


Early Life and Education

Betjeman was born "John Betjemann"; this was changed to the less German "Betjeman" during the First World War. He grew up at Parliament Hill Mansions in the Lissenden Gardens private estate in Highgate in North ... more »

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Comments about John Betjeman

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Catherine Cox (10/10/2015 12:45:00 PM)

    JB was my dads favourite poet. He once told me he remembers a poem by him with the line/phrase Bon Marche, the Electric Palace. Does any one know of any such poem by John Betjeman?

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Best Poem of John Betjeman


Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:

And smash his ...

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