This week I've been learning all about John Betjeman. It's the centenary of his birth this year so there's a series of programmes on BBC Four. For all that he's one of Britain's most famous poets, I couldn't have told you anything about him apart from the "Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough" line. So, if you're a Betjeman fan, you can imagine that I'm beside myself with glee because he liked so many things that I like - seaside, suburbia, trains, travel (especially the Shell guides), preserving old architecture (with The Victorian Society) and his poems weren't bad either. In the second Betjeman and Me programme Stephen Fry said something about him creating a sort of nostalgia for the modern and Griff Rhys-Jones talked about him making the ordinary extraordinary. All good stuff. Considering I used to read a lot of poetry I can't quite figure out how I missed him. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Metroland on Monday and to reading his books. Where should I start?

Betjeman links:

Many years ago my sister wrote to John Betjeman (her boyfriend of the time had written some poems..she asked him to read them)and he wrote a lovely letter back which included the line 'dont give up..poetry is just the right words in the right order'

That's so nice. Thank you.

Recommended reading

More from I like's Amazon astore