clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Random Poem of the Week: "In a Bath Teashop"

This is something I'm going to experiment with for awhile, as we lurch through winter... A semi-regular posting of a random poem... All subsequent entries will be hidden away in the diaries for those who hate poetry, or simply don't care.

English poet John Betjeman (or Sir John Betjeman, if you prefer) was born in 1906, making 2006 his centenary. Along with Philip Larkin, one of his greatest champions, Betjeman slowly rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s as an accesible, non-academic poet, becoming a Knight in 1969 and the British Poet Laureate in 1972. Often nostalgic for the lost England of trains, country churches and seaside resorts, Betjeman's major work sometimes veers towards satire or outright protest.

For example, regarding Slough -- not coincidentally the setting of the British series The Office -- Betjeman could only exclaim, "Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough/ It isn't fit for humans now". He died in 1984.

I humbly dedicate this poem to Buddy Bell.

John Betjeman
"In a Bath Teashop"

"Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another--
Let us hold hands and look."
She such a very ordinary little woman;
He such a thumping crook;
But both, for a moment, little lower than the angels
In the teashop's ingle-nook.

So in summary: love is good.

For more on Betjeman, click here.