Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Slough -- John Betjeman

Continuing the theme...
(Poem #1522) Slough
 Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
 It isn't fit for humans now,
 There isn't grass to graze a cow
   Swarm over, Death!

 Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
 Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,
 Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
   Tinned minds, tinned breath.

 Mess up the mess they call a town --
 A house for ninety-seven down
 And once a week for half-a-crown
   For twenty years,

 And get that man with double chin
 Who'll always cheat and always win,
 Who washes his repulsive skin
   In women's tears,

 And smash his desk of polished oak
 And smash his hands so used to stroke
 And stop his boring dirty joke
   And make him yell.

 But spare the bald young clerks who add
 The profits of the stinking cad;
 It's not their fault that they are mad,
   They've tasted Hell.

 It's not their fault they do not know
 The birdsong from the radio,
 It's not their fault they often go
   To Maidenhead

 And talk of sports and makes of cars
 In various bogus Tudor bars
 And daren't look up and see the stars
   But belch instead.

 In labour-saving homes, with care
 Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
 And dry it in synthetic air
   And paint their nails.

 Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
 To get it ready for the plough.
 The cabbages are coming now;
   The earth exhales.
-- John Betjeman
My thanks to Frank O'Shea (the instigator of our current theme -- "The Poet
Cranky") for re-introducing this poem to me. (I'd read it in the past, but
for some reason it failed to stick in my mind).

Betjeman has been described as the poet of nostalgia, but what I like about
today's poem is not so much the fond remembrance of things past which runs
like an undercurrent through almost all his work, as it is the unabashed
loathing with which the poet describes the industrial wasteland that Slough
has become. I do enjoy an old-fashioned, no-holds-barred rant...



Here's some more about Slough:
  [broken link]

Here's a biography of John Betjeman:

37 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Amanda McGowan said...

Wonderful. I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to live in Slough for
seven months of my life. Whilst there, I read an advertisement in the
local paper. It was placed by the council and was trying to entice
businesses to move to Slough. At the start of the advertisement it had
the first line of this poem.

gerald said...

From Gerald McCunn

In my youth, I lived near and worked in Slough. It had - and still has -
a huge, multi-racial immigrant population and a vibrant, successful
economy offering well-paid employment at all levels. It produces goods
and services essential to everybody's well-being and comfort. Despite
his charming, assumed detachment from the prosaic, Betjeman was a
wealthy subscriber to the consumer society. Betjeman did not live in
Slough or from it.This poem is not even graced with "nimbyism". It is
plain "knocking".

I acknowledge the talent and have always enjoyed the poetry of Betjeman
but it all too frequently describes a world of drones. The beauty of
industry is an acquired taste but those, such as Betjeman, who face
television cameras, wear clothes, ride in cars, consume pharmaceuticals
or ride in wheelchairs, should endeavour to acquire it.

Slough is in fact a fine microcosm of what British society should be.

Vivgood31863 said...

I love Slough - Ricky Gervais

Pearson Family said...

Wasn't that meant to be a satirical comment on someone (David Brent) who has absolutely no subtlety or appreciation of the arts? If so, it seems strange to call it a 'masterly' criticism.

I see that Slough Borough Council has commissioned an answer to the poem, which underlines the horror of the place even more then old Betjeman could.

Anonymous said...

This is the only poem that has been able to evoke the human emotion of laughter. Masterful.

الفيسبوك said...

well . this is very lovely words and good poem

Generic Viagra Pharmacy said...

this is really a nice poem having good and lovely rhyming words. Thanks for this poem.

cheap kamagra online said...

Wonderful! This is a nice job shared. Thanks for sharing this article.

savsuns said...

Explore your options for healthy aging. Find research and information on the health benefits of resveratrol, the miracle polyphenol found in red wine and its miraculous antiaging benefits. Resveratrol research suggests it has antiaging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and cardiovascular benefits. cheap medicine

viagra online said...

Really thanks a lot for sharing such an awesome blog post here.... I like your blog. Thanks!

Health Blog said...

Really this is very interesting blog post here.... your blog is so interesting for reading. It contain very unique and very helpful information. Thanks very much for sharing such an interesting information. Keep posting....

Buy Atorvastatin Online said...

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

buy lasix said...

Very good customer service, prompt delivery (lol...prompt for coming from so far away!), and good products. I recommend this company to my friends all the time. is a godsend to those of us without medical insurance.

generic pharmacy said...

That was something I never read before thanks for sharing,,

Canadian internet pharmacy

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

By Viagra said...

Wow very nice one post here. Keep it up.....!

Anonymous said...

He's the only cabbage 'round here.

cialis online said...

What an emotive poem, John is genius ! there's no doubt about it!

Anonymous said...

they wanna look nice! didn't he like girls?

Anonymous said...

Hi there everyone, it's my first pay a quick visit at this site, and piece of writing is genuinely fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these articles.

my homepage easy diets that work

Anonymous said...

I always used to read post in news papers but now as I am a user of net thus from now
I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

Feel free to surf to my weblog calories burned walking calculator

Anonymous said...

In this great pattern of things you actually receive an A+ with regard to hard
work. Exactly where you misplaced me was first in all the particulars.
As it is said, details make or break the argument.
. And it couldn't be more true at this point. Having said that, allow me say to you just what did work. Your authoring is quite powerful and that is probably the reason why I am making the effort in order to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, whilst I can certainly see a jumps in reason you make, I am not confident of exactly how you seem to unite the details which inturn help to make the actual conclusion. For the moment I will, no doubt subscribe to your point however hope in the future you connect your dots better.

Also visit my web blog adidas f50

Anonymous said...

Helpful information. Lucky me I discovered your web site accidentally, and I'm stunned why this coincidence did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

Visit my web page :: michael kors watches uk

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you
are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my site =).
We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

My website: michael michael kors jacket packable channel quilted puffer

Anonymous said...

Awesome website you have here but I was wanting to know if
you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
I'd really love to be a part of community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

Also visit my web-site: michael kors sale

Anonymous said...

Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you
get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you protect against it,
any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

Feel free to surf to my webpage:

bocahganteng said...

Artikel Obat Ambeien Yang Parah Ampuh di Apotik
Artikel Obat Benjolan Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Kumpulan Obat Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Kumpulan Obat Atasi Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Kumpulan Obat Tuntaskan Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Kumpulan Obat Ambeien Stadium 3 Ampuh di Apotik
Kumpulan Obat Ambeien Terbukti Ampuh di Apotik
Pusat Obat Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Pusat Obat Herbal Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Pusat Obat Salep Ambeien Ampuh di Apotik
Pusat Obat Ambeien Ambejoss Ampuh di Apotik
Pusat Obat Ambeien De nature Ampuh di Apotik
Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah
Cara Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah Dengan Herbal
Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah Pada Pria
Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah Secara Cepat
Cara Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah
Cara Untuk Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah
Cara Terbaik Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah
Cara Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah Pada Wanita
Cara Alami Mengobati Kemaluan Bernanah
Mengobati Penyakit Kemaluan Bernanah
Tips Mengobati Penyakit Kemaluan Bernanah
Cara Aman Mengobati Penyakit Kemaluan Bernanah
Mengobati Penyakit Kemaluan Bernanah atau Gonore
Resep Mengobati Penyakit Kemaluan Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Pria Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Pria Yang Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Pria Bengkak dan Bernanah
Cara Mengobati Kemaluan Pria Bernanah
Solusi Untuk Mengobati Kemaluan Pria Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Wanita Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Wanita Sakit Bernanah
Cara Instan Mengobati Kemaluan Wanita Bernanah
Mengobati Penyakit Kemaluan Wanita Bernanah
Mengobati Kemaluan Wanita Bernanah Dengan Herbal

Anonymous said...

Attractive portion of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing for your augment or even I fulfillment you get admission to constantly quickly.สล็อตออนไลน์

Post a Comment