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Saturday, December 02, 2006

 

John Betjeman

The former Poet Laureate of England, celebrated in his Centenary in August 2006.

He was captured famously in a BBC show called "Metro-Land" whiffing a tee shot, which is more the result of venomous TV vipers than a measure of his skill. He's buried on a golf course in Cornwall, St. Enodoc, between the 10th and 13th fairways.

His most famouse poem is "Seaside Golf ", but I like this one better,
"The Hon. Sec.", a eulogy for a club secretary . . . (an English golf course manager)


He loved each corner of the links-
The stream at the eleventh,
The grey-green bents, the pale sea-pinks,
The prospect from the seventh;

To the ninth tee the uphill climb,
A grass and sandy stairway,
And at the top the scent of thyme
And long extent of fairway.

He knew how on a summer day
The sea's deep blue grew deeper,
How evening shadows over Bray
Made that round hill look steeper.

He knew the ocean mists that rose
And seemed for ever staying,
When moaned the foghorn from Trevose
And nobody was playing;

The flip of cards on winter eves,
The whisky and the scoring,
As trees outside were stripped of leaves
And heavy seas were roaring.

Personally I find it most of it a little mawkish, but I can see the golf course he's describing here, very well.

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