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Licensed for embracement: insouciance and exigency in John Betjeman's love poems

Hancock, Timothy (2013) Licensed for embracement: insouciance and exigency in John Betjeman's love poems. The Cambridge Quarterly, 42 (4). pp. 342-356. [Journal article]

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Abstract

Much of John Betjeman's popular reputation as a writer derives from love poems, such as 'A Subaltern's Love Song' and 'Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden', that appear to be characterised by an insouciant, sometimes facetious attitude towards matters of the heart. This essay argues that a poet who academia has often caricatured as a flippant purveyor of light verse is better seen as one who deliberately makes light of disruptive sexual urges and fears that consistently troubled him, seeking an aesthetic means to exert a degree of control over unsettling aspects of his character that threatened to overwhelm him.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:John Betjeman; Love Poems; Poetry
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Faculty of Arts
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute > English
Arts and Humanities Research Institute
ID Code:27751
Deposited By: Dr Tim Hancock
Deposited On:10 Nov 2013 10:12
Last Modified:10 Nov 2013 10:12

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