John Betjeman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The statue of Betjeman at St Pancras Station

John Betjeman (28 August 1906 - 19 May 1984) was a English poet. He was Poet Laureate known for his light humorous verse. One of his most famous poems was about Slough, a town in Berkshire. It begins with the rhyme:

'Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now...'

Betjeman was born in Highgate, London. He studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1933 he married Penelope Chetwode; they separated in the late 1940s. The couple's son, Paul was born in 1937. Their daughter was Candida Lycett Green (1942-2014). Betjeman's partner from 1951 until his death was Lady Elizabeth Cavendish.

Betjeman died of Parkinson's disease in Trebetherick, Cornwall. He was replaced as Poet Laureate by Ted Hughes. Betjeman was also known as an architectural and cultural critic. He is buried at St Enodoc in Cornwall, near Trebetherick.