Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slough



Hi gang.
I was writing a new short story for this site,but I am just taking to darned long to do it. Then last night I saw Ricky Gervise, On The Actors Studio and he quoted this poem written about the town that the original, The Office was set in. I thought it was a great poem about a town that was becoming more industrial and less a place to live and thrive. I would share it with you.

Slough

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!
Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

by
John Betjeman

3 comments:

Ana said...

My favorite stanza:
"And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:"

I hate him so much! Bastard.
Thank you for sharing this poem. A bit of a downer on a day of such hope, don't you think?!

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

Man, your right. I was the cloud on everyone's parade. oops.
I love the idea of "come the friendly bombs"

Eva said...

And I nearly ended up working in Slough!... Thank God I found something somewhere else. Maidenhead is definitely nicer and greener but Slough is just grey and dead...