English Literature Revision - Themes in John Betjeman's poems

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Themes in Betjeman's poems
Love
Love in a Valley Passion, fulfilment of married life,
pain of separation, woman's POV
Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden Desire of young man for athletic,
masculine, bad tempered Surrey
girl, they marry
Myfanwy Boy half desires half admires
athletic young nanny, innocent
sexuality
Senex A man asks God to help him
suppress the sin of lust. Old man's
POV (feels as he did when young)
A Subaltern's Lovesong A young army officer woos and wins
athletic middle class girl ­ engaged
but anti climax
In a Bath Teashop Two lovers ­rather disreputable are
elevated by love
Indoor Games near Newbury A boy is ecstatic after a declaration
of love at party. Innocent sexuality
St Saviour's, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, Love of god
London, N.
The Licorice Fields at Pontefract Comical representation of man's
desire for a masculine woman,
dominant ­ role reversal. Comical
setting for such romance.
House of Rest Love of old woman for dead
husband sons, God, surrounded by
the past but in a single room
Devonshire Street W1 Love past and present between
elderly couple facing death of
husband, tender, simple, depicts
fear anxiety
Death
1

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Death in Leamington Loneliness, isolation, age, uncaring
professional house is decaying too
Death of King George V Passing of an era ­ comfortable,
rigid, ceremonial, new king, new
suburbs
0n a Portrait of a Deaf Man Searing, shocking contemplation of
father's death, loss of faith
I.M. Walter Ramsden, ob.…read more

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Senex A man asks God to help him
suppress the sin of lust.…read more

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God, asks
for God's help, has a struggle to
retain any faith
St Saviour's, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, Seemingly miraculous survival of
London, N.…read more

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Seaside Golf The joy of golf in a landscape ­
sincere exaltation
I.M. Walter Ramsden, ob.…read more

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Parliament Hill Fields Childhood memories of journey
from centre of London to suburbs,
vivid
Bristol Church bells and moody weather
allow an imaginative vision of the
past to accessed
North Coast Recollections Affectionate portrait of Cornwall all
of Betjeman's favourite things
including irritating ones in a single
place
HarrowontheHill Poetic imagination transforms the
urban into longed for Cornish coast
The Licorice Fields at Pontefract Comical representation of man's
desire for a masculine woman,
dominant ­ role reversal. Comical
setting for such romance.…read more

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Myfanwy Boy half desires half admires
athletic young nanny, innocent
sexuality
Youth and Age on Beaulieu River, Hants An older woman contemplates the
idyllic beauty joy of youth and is only
made more aware of what she was
but now is lonely
Indoor Games near Newbury A boy is ecstatic after a declaration
of love at party.…read more

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