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Betjeman Poetry Essay

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Betjeman is a crafts master. He is a master of rhythm and rhyme - sadly his poetry contains little else. How far do you agree? Betjeman is a crafts master, rhythm and rhyme are his forte, but his strengths do not cease here. He uses rhyme and rhythm to strengthen his message, but his poetry also contains a creative collaboration of punctuation, imagery techniques and juxtaposition throughout his collections. The poetry may be simple, but this makes the message clear so a wide range of audiences has the ability to understand and appreciate his work. Betjeman's poetry contains a wide variety of poetic terms, which goes against the statement that his poetry "contains little else" other than rhythm and rhyme. For example in False Security, lines 2 and 3 read: "Let go with a bang behind me our house front door And, clutching a present for my dear little hostess tight," The above two lines are packed of effective poetic devices other than rhythm and rhyme. "Bang" is onomatopoeic, which fully engages the reader, as it makes them feel as though they can hear the door banging. "Bang behind" is alliteration, and this, again, engages the reader and makes the line more interesting. ...read more.


Also in Original Sin on the Sussex Coast, there is a constant meter of 10, and this reflects the fact that sin always constant and is always happening, even in the most beautiful of places such as the Sussex Coast. In Death in Leamington a regular meter is used, and this relates to the regular routine of the nurse who came to look after the old woman in her dying days, and the meter shows that the nurse hasn't noticed and is carrying on with her regular routine, despite the tragedy that has happened, and this saddens the audience and makes them feel sympathy for the poor old woman. A constant meter of 8,6 was used throughout the poem On a Portrait of a Deaf Man that shows how constant death is, and how death will never stop. Also the meter in A Subaltern's Love Song, is regular, which portrays love. Rhyming, is one of many skills that Betjeman possesses, he is a genius with rhyming schemes. For example in False Security, there are rhyming couplets which strengthen the message of the poem, and as the young boy gets more excited about the party and the being with the hostess whom he has feelings for, the rhyme becomes stronger and three lines rhyme as opposed to two, and this helps the reader feel the excitement of the boy. ...read more.


Also the short sentence creates tension, as no one knows what's going to happen to the young boy next. At first glance, Betjeman's poetry may seem simple, but underneath everything, there are serious messages. Betjeman may seem to have surface simplicity, but he masters the literary devices with perfection. For example, Slough may seem cheery on the surface, however there is a serious issue of the urbanisation of Slough hidden beneath it. In False Security there is an underlying message about class and about how the young boy doesn't think that he is of a high enough class to attend such a party. Also the quote from the hostess's mother at the end of the poem also shows how the boy may be insecure of his class as she says "strange, rather common little boy". Bullying is another underlying issue in Original Sin on the Sussex Coast. The surface simplicity of Betjeman's work means that many people can understand and appreciate the messages of his work, as opposed to being extremely complicated with mass confusion. In conclusion, I have proven that Betjeman is not only a master of rhythm and rhyme, but also a master of many more things such as literary devices, phonetics, structure and portraying hidden messages. ...read more.

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