Daily Archives: October 11, 2017

Remembering Betjeman

R. S. Thomas

Remembering BetjemanThe only greenness

from your city

window was that of the grass

in the cemetery

outside. The stones

bent over it like readers

in a baize library

out of the way

of the traffic. I caught

your gaze homing

there and changed the talk

from poetry to prose,

enquiring from the living

what only the dead

knew, who had all time

on their side.

                       Into that room,

now that you have left

it, the view enters

unchanged; the grass

is absorbing, the readers

have not looked up

from their breathless

pondering of the manuscript

of the deaf and dumb.

It is a slow view, but one

never to be overtaken

by the hurrying images

of that other window

your successor has turned to,

tipplers at an existence

that has everything

this one has not

except its repose.

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