On Jan 22, 2015, at 9:22 PM, Bill Wootton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Find the poem, Herr Pat or re-write it. What a hoot!
>> On 22 Jan 2015, at 8:08 pm, Patrick McManus <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Enjoyed this warm tale oops nearly wrote tail -and to think that I was a top
>> speller at school -(long long since)
>> I lost my grandmother early on was devastated for years-I remember but
>> probable can't fine a WW2 poem about us together-where the aircraft I was
>> cheering on were actually German and I got hauled back into our air-raid
>> shelter! Cheers P
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 a 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.
by John Betjeman (1906 - 1984)
John Betjeman published his poem about Slough in 1937 in the collected works Continual Dew. Slough was becoming increasingly industrial and some housing conditions were very cramped. In willing the destruction of Slough, Betjeman urges the bombs to pick out the vulgar profiteers but to spare the bald young clerks. He really was very fond of his fellow human beings. Slough is much improved nowadays and he might be pleasantly surprised by a stroll there.