Before the Anaesthetic, or A Real Fright

By John Betjeman Intolerably sad, profound St. Giles’s bells are ringing round, They bring the slanting summer rain To tap the chestnut boughs again Whose shadowy cave of rainy leaves The gusty belfry-song receives. Intolerably sad and true, Victorian red and jewel blue, The mellow bells are ringing round And charge the evening light with … More Before the Anaesthetic, or A Real Fright

Red Glove

A poem I wrote, after seeing a red glove left on the ground in the commuting rush: Little is more miserable than this dropped glove Fingers of red wool, a pavement splatter Soon, buried in snow, to rot in spring Then carried off, swept up in litter Dragged from a pocket with some frantic seeking … More Red Glove

Goodbye Stranger

From BBC Global Perspective Documentary Archive: Every year up to 20 people die completely alone in Amsterdam. There are no friends or family to prepare their funeral or mourn over the body. Sometimes these people are illegal migrants, drug mules, or simply people who for one reason or another, cut off all social contacts. A … More Goodbye Stranger