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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…

Page 2

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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. March…

Page 3

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Senex A man asks God to help him
suppress the sin of lust. Old man's
POV (feels as he did when young)

On a Portrait of a Deaf Man Searing, shocking contemplation of
father's death, loss of faith, physical
decay and change for the worse

64 Youth and Age on…

Page 4

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architecture, not nature of 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. family church in bombed out London
leads to affirmation of faith, past &
present linked)

Christmas Overview of national Christmas
leads to assertion…

Page 5

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Seaside Golf The joy of golf in a landscape ­
sincere exaltation

I.M. Walter Ramsden, ob. March 26, Mourning the loss of an Oxford don,
1947, Pembroke College, Oxford time passing, implications for
others, mortality

The Metropolitan Railway Station buffet a memorial to
Victorian optimism, time the
destroyer, couple destroyed,…

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prays his children will have the
same freedom

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…

Page 7

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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…

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