Joan Hunter Dunn RIP

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by rich p, 17 Apr 2008.

  1. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

  2. surfgurl

    surfgurl New Member

    That's a beautiful poem. I've not heard it before. Thanks for posting.

    A Subaltern's Love Song

    Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
    Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
    What strenuous singles we played after tea,
    We in the tournament - you against me!

    Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
    The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
    With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
    I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

    Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
    How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
    The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
    But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

    Her father's euonymus shines as we walk,
    And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
    And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
    To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

    The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
    The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
    As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
    For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

    On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
    And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
    And westering, questioning settles the sun,
    On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

    The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
    The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
    My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
    And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

    By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
    She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
    Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
    And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

    Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
    I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
    Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
    Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

    Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
    Above us the intimate roof of the car,
    And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
    With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

    And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
    And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
    We sat in the car park till twenty to one
    And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

    John Betjeman
  3. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    Thanks for posting that RichP, it fills in some background to one of my favourite Betjeman poems as well. The whole poem and obituary speak of different times don't they, lovely.
  4. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Exterminate Christmas! Moderator

    That is great, and thanks for posting it. Some wonderful lines in there.
  5. One of my favourite poems. I wondered why they were reading it on Radio 4 this morning.
  6. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Veteran

    It speaks of an altogether more innocent age. Which is nice.
  7. simonali

    simonali Guru

    Slough next with any luck!
  8. OP
    rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Forever damned by JB and The Office!
  9. The whole thing is a fabulous story - makes me want to time travel...
  10. OP
    rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    This is my other favourite which also evokes that era

    Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
    Runs the red electric train,
    With a thousand Ta's and Pardon's
    Daintily alights Elaine;
    Hurries down the concrete station
    With a frown of concentration,
    Out into the outskirt's edges
    Where a few surviving hedges
    Keep alive our lost Elysium - rural Middlesex again.

    Well cut Windsmoor flapping lightly,
    Jacqmar scarf of mauve and green
    Hiding hair which, Friday nightly,
    Delicately drowns in Dreen;
    Fair Elaine the bobby-soxer,
    Fresh-complexioned with Innoxa,
    Gains the garden - father's hobby -
    Hangs her Windsmoor in the lobby,
    Settles down to sandwich supper and the television screen.

    Gentle Brent, I used to know you
    Wandering Wembley-wards at will,
    Now what change your waters show you
    In the meadowlands you fill!
    Recollect the elm-trees misty
    And the footpaths climbing twisty
    Under cedar-shaded palings,
    Low laburnum-leaned-on railings
    Out of Northolt on and upward to the heights of Harrow hill.

    Parish of enormous hayfields
    Perivale stood all alone,
    And from Greenford scent of mayfields
    Most enticingly was blown
    Over market gardens tidy,
    Taverns for the bona fide,
    Cockney singers, cockney shooters,
    Murray Poshes, Lupin Pooters,
    Long in Kelsal Green and Highgate silent under soot and stone.
  11. simonali

    simonali Guru

    I used to live there once and it seemed alright at the time, but now whenever I go there (which isn't often) I can't wait to leave!
  12. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    I'd never heard of this lady: thanks so much for posting.
    You can just tell by her picture that she would have been such fun to know!
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