Betjeman Poetry Essay

Authors Avatar

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. There is no punctuation at the end of the first line, this is called enjambment, and the enjambment shows the movement of the door banging behind the young boy. The caesura after “and” on the second line, highlights the next bit of speech, and emphasises what is about to be said. The use of the verb “clutching” makes it seem as though the present he is holding is very precious, and this is because without the present, he may not be admitted to the party. “Little hostess tight” suggests that the young boy has feelings of love for the girl who is hosting the party.

Join now!

Also, in Original Sin on the Sussex Coast, Betjeman writes “now on this out of season afternoon”. This shows that the weather is not conventional for this particular season; this is known as pathetic fallacy and relates the weather to overall dull, nostalgic atmosphere of the poem. He also says “A schoolboy once again in shivering shorts”. Here he uses to sibilance to portray that he is scared. The words “shivering shorts” show how insignificant and small he feels compared to the bullies that are about to strike upon him, and conjure up an image of a small scared schoolboy in ...

This is a preview of the whole essay