Especially, how she thinks God will wait on her and not the other way around. It is a "send-up" of the self-important upper and upper-middle class people as depicted so admirably by the late Joyce Grenfel. The thoughts and actions depicted are so "over-the-top" that no right-minded person could seriously consider them but which a certain type of self-obsessed person would consider quite natural. The Lord waits on you hand in foot!
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In Westminster Abbey — John Betjeman Context The poem is set during the second world war at a time when Britain, was part of an alliance of nations which were fighting against German expansionism in Europe and North Africa England, and London in particular, was subject to regular bombing raids by the German air force.
British society of the time was rigidly divided into social classes — the speaker in the poem is a wealthy upper class woman who lives in Cadogan Square, a very affluent part of West London. Theme The poem is a dramatic monologue — a poem in which the poet creates a character who speaks for the entire poem to an audience who does not respond.
This dramatic monologue is a satirical poem. The more the woman says the more the poet reveals her flaws and exposes her to ridicule and contempt. Through the poem Betjeman satirises, not just this one woman, but the English upper class. Tone Being a dramatic monologue the tone is dominated by the speaking voice of the well-off lady.
He uses irony throughout, as the woman unwittingly in the process gives her true character away. Structure The poem is written in seven sextets. Like An Irish Airman there are eight syllables per line but in this poem the rhythm is trochaic tetrameter rather than iambic.
Each verse rhymes abcbdd. The rhymed couplet at the end of each is particularly effective for stressing and ridiculing her flaws Share this:.
In Westminster Abbey by John Betjeman
The alliteration in the fourth line almost makes it seem a little trite. This clever use of juxtaposition is successful in poking fun at her. The fourth line in which she condescends to pardon God if he should make a mistake shows how devoid of actual piety she is, since it is God who traditionally pardons sinners, not the reverse. Third Stanza Further deficits in her character emerge as she reveals herself to be openly racist. Fourth Stanza In this stanza the Speaker lists the things which make living in the United Kingdom so attractive to her.
Sir John Betjeman
Wednesday, November 12, "In Westminster Abbey", John Betjeman Bio: John Betjeman 84 was named poet laureate in , and is known for his nostalgic writings on contemporary topics. He celebrated classical architecture and often wrote satirical pieces about the superficial contemporary society around him, often criticizing it as well. Gracious Lord, oh bomb the Germans. Spare their women for Thy sake, And if that is not too easy, We will pardon Thy mistake. Think of what our Nation stands for, Books from Bootsand country lanes, free speech, free passes, class distinction, Democracy and proper drains. Lord, put beneath Thy special care One-eighty-nine Cadogan Square.