Author: John Betjeman; Introduction by Andrew Motion
Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.
When the beloved English poet John Betjeman's Collected Poems first appeared in 1958, it made publishing history, and has now sold more than two million copies to a steadily expanding readership. Betjeman is almost unique among poets in that his work appeals equally strongly to those who love poetry and to those who rarely read it. This volume, the first American edition of the Collected Poems, incorporates all the poems that Betjeman published after the original Collected Poems and includes a new foreword by Britain's poet laureate, Andrew Motion.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The News
“John Betjeman has succeeded better than most of his contemporaries in narrowing the gulf between poetry and the public. In his own province of feeling he has established a personal regency over all contemporary taste.” —The Times (London)
“He is in the best sense a committed writer, whose poems spring from what he really feels about real life, and as a result he brings back to poetry a sense of dramatic urgency it had all but lost.” —Philip Larkin