"In other words he is not a nature poet, like Wordsworth, but a landscape poet like Crabbe and, like Crabbe, he is a painter of the particular, the recognisable landscape; his trees are not merely real trees with their roots in the earth, they are conifers with their roots in the red sand of Camberley, feathery ash in leathery Lambourne, or forsythia in the Banbury road." John Sparrow.
Up the ash-tree climbs the ivy,
Up the ivy climbs the sun,
With a twenty-thousand pattering
Has a valley breeze begun,
Feathery ash, neglected elder,
Shift the Shade and make it run----
Shift the shade toward the nettles,
And the nettles set it free
To streak the stained Carrara headstone
Where, in nineteen-twenty-three,
He who trained a hundred winners
paid the Final Entrance Fee.
Leathery limbs of upper Lambourne,
Leathery skin from sun and wind,
Leathery breeches, spreading stables,
Shining saddles left behind----
To the down the string of horses
Moving out of sight and mind.
Feathery ash in leathery Lambourne
Waves above the sarsen stone,
And Edwardian plantations
So coniferously moan
As to make the swelling downland,
Far-surrounding, seem their own.
I adore the whole notion of John Betjeman. His earnestness and delight in the everyday. Championing the small churches and the railways, whilst journeying through a warm and comfortable bygone era.