BETJEMAN, JOHN (1906-1984)
Lot 47
BETJEMAN, JOHN (1906-1984) AUTOGRAPH DRAFT, AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT AND REVISED TYPESCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'POT POURRI FROM A SURREY GARDEN'
Sold for £4,000 (US$ 6,278) inc. premium

Lot Details
BETJEMAN, JOHN (1906-1984)
AUTOGRAPH DRAFT, AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT AND REVISED TYPESCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'POT POURRI FROM A SURREY GARDEN', the first comprising 34 lines with autograph revisions and an architectural sketch on the verso, the second comprising 29 lines with one revision and slight architectural doodles on verso, the typescript comprising 27 lines with six revisions, the most significant being a line mistakenly omitted, the typescript with 'New Statesman' written at foot; the poem beginning 'Miles of pram in the wind and Pam in the gorse track, / Coconut smell of the broom, and a packet of Weights'; reconsidered readings are preserved in these working papers, 4 pages, folio and quarto, not dated

The poem, with shades of 'A Subaltern's Love Song' ('Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn...'), is best known for the third and fourth stanzas:

...Pam I adore you, Pam, you great big mountainous sports girl
Whizzing them over the net, full of the strength of five
That Old Malvernian brother you zephyr & khaki shorts girl
Although he's playing for Woking
Can't stand up to your wonderful back hand drive

See the strength of her arm as firm & hairy as Hendrens
See the size of her thighs & pout of her lips as cross
And full of a pent up strength she swipes at the rhododendrons
Lucky the rhododendrons
And flings her arrogant love lock
Back with a petulant toss...

These manuscripts differ from the final text in Collected Poems (30 lines) in their punctuation, the set-up of some lines and in some different readings they retain. Part of one line in the draft reads: 'Freckled your legs & ankles' instead of 'That Old Malvernian brother', which comes in the following line.
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