The Poetry of John Betjeman

  • A. L. Rowse


The other day I came across a snooty dismissal of Betjeman’s poetry by an unmemorable critic, as just ‘social verse’. Anyone can appreciate the element of social verse in Betjeman, what used to be described, in more cultivated days, as vers de société, the wit and humour, the fun and frolics, the gentle satire. Sometimes the poem is specifically put forth as such — as with, ‘How to Get On in Society’:

‘Phone for the fish-knives, Norman…

But I hope to show that there is more, far more, in Betjeman than meets the eye.


Church Bell Literary Editor Contemporary Poet Short Oxford English Dictionary Poet Laureate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© A. L. Rowse 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Rowse

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations