Sunday, February 26, 2006


The Cockney Amorist
John Betjeman

Oh when my love, my darling,
You’ve left me here alone,
I’ll walk the streets of London
Which once seemed all our own.

The vast suburban churches
Together we have found:
The ones which smelt of gaslight
The ones in incense drown’d;
I’ll use them now for praying in
And not for looking round.

No more the Hackney Empire
Shall find us in its stalls
When on the limelit crooner
The thankful curtain falls,
And soft electric lamplight
Reveals the gilded walls.

I will not go to Finsbury Park
The putting course to see
Nor cross the crowded High Road
To Williamsons’ to tea,
For these and all the other things
Were part of you and me.

I love you, oh my darling,
And what I can’t make out
Is why since you have left me
I’m somehow still about.

From Poet to Poet: John Betjeman
(Faber & Faber, 2006)


Anonymous Lou da silva [ARF!] said...

Late Friday night I was listening to music on the internet and found the song, "Sheila," by a UK group called Jamie T. Never heard of the group before, and I happened to like the song very much because of the language being used - slang I'm not used to hearing.

In the background, after the first verse, a recording of someone reading poetry can be heard:

Oh when my love, my darling,
You've left me here alone,
I'll walk the streets of London
Which once seemed all our own...

The words stayed with me and tonight I used Google to find the line "The ones in incense drown'd". The second link led me to this page, where you've posted the poem, "the Cockeny Amorist," by Betjeman.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you what brought me here and to thank you for posting the poem [I've since looked up more about Sir Betjeman and plan to read more], and to also thank you for hosting this page - I've book marked it and plan to return often.

Sunday, February 04, 2007 10:49:00 PM  

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