John Betjeman

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

John Betjeman Poems

If you see a poem only with title, it is listed that way because of copyright reasons.
41. Five O'Clock Shadow 5/9/2011
42. Death In Leamington 5/9/2011
43. Devonshire Street W.1 5/9/2011
44. An Edwardian Sunday, Broomhill, Sheffield 5/9/2011
45. A Mind's Journey To Diss 5/9/2011
46. A Bay In Anglesey 5/9/2011
47. Felixstowe, Or The Last Of Her Order 5/9/2011
48. Dawlish 5/9/2011
49. Back From Australia 5/9/2011
50. False Security 5/9/2011
51. Diary Of A Church Mouse 5/9/2011
52. Meditation On The A30 4/19/2007
53. A Subaltern's Love Song 5/9/2011
54. Slough 4/3/2007

Comments about John Betjeman

  • Ian K (7/23/2017 1:10:00 PM)

    The quintessential English poet of the 20th century, the fact that he's easy to read doesn't detract from his genius.

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  • Frank Barry (4/12/2016 1:37:00 PM)

    Bon Marche is found in the poem Parliament Hill Fields, second verse.

  • 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?

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 ...

Read the full of Slough


Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
Runs the red electric train,
With a thousand Ta's and Pardon's
Daintily alights Elaine;
Hurries down the concrete station
With a frown of concentration,
Out into the outskirt's edges
Where a few surviving hedges
Keep alive our lost Elysium - rural Middlesex again.

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