Poems in the Porch: The Radio Poems of John Betjeman

Poems in the Porch: The Radio Poems of John Betjeman

by Kevin J. Gardner (Editor)


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Poems in the Porch: The Radio Poems of John Betjeman by Kevin J. Gardner

Between 1953-57, John Betjeman read a series of poems on 'The Faith in the West' program airing on the BBC's West of England Home Service. This series, called 'Poems in the Porch,' was so popular that Betjeman received constant requests to publish the poems. Although he deprecatingly referred to the poems as mere 'verses', Betjeman at last capitulated to the public. The result was a slim volume of six poems, entitled Poems in the Porch. What few people now realize is that Betjeman read at least 20 original poems on the radio in this series, perhaps even more, although owing to the haphazard records of both the BBC and Betjeman himself it is impossible to reconstruct with complete accuracy the history of this series.

Kevin Gardner has been able to identify and collect 26 of these poems and has written a fascinating introductory essay recounting the story of Betjeman as a radio poet and discussing the artistry of these poems. Most have never been published and currently exist only in manuscript. Despite the gap between the BBC records on the one hand and the printed and manuscript texts on the other, Gardner has been able to construct a relatively reliable edition of Betjeman's Poems in the Porch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441142184
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 11/18/2009
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Kevin Gardner is Professor of English Literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is currently writing a scholarly monograph on Betjeman's Christian imagination.

Table of Contents



The Poems in the Porch

Diary of a Church Mouse

Electric Light and Heating


Blame the Vicar



The Friends of the Cathedral

The Bishop

Advent Bells

The Conversion of St Paul

The Lenten Season

The Parochial Church Council Sunday Morning

Advent 1955 T

The Nativity Play

Three Crosses

Honest Doubt

St Petroc

Not Necessarily Leeds

The St. Paul's Appeal

The Visiting Vicar

God Bless the Church of England



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