Britons: I need help with a John Betjeman's poem

mjd   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 13:45 GMT
Paul said: "By the way only thing that is clear from your comment is that you cannot teach anyone shit."

I'll start with that sentence, Paul. It should read: "By the way, THE only thing....."

When you write "United States," you need to include "the" beforehand.

You might want to check the archive on the whole "Brits" issue. You'll see that my claim is well substantiated.
Damian   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 18:53 GMT

I am completely baffled about those "pollies".....maybe he was referring to something you could eat but just what exactly is a mystery. Maybe it was a silly word he used for some kind of fruit or sweetmeat or something. Our only hope is to ask a medium to help but I personally will opt out of any would give me the creeps.

If you log onto the following you will see that others seek the same info regarding this riddle:

As for the gas, I reckon the favourite is lighting...the verse suggests it's eventide.

BTW: I checked up on the connection Betjeman and Slough to discover what it was he so disliked about the place. I found nothing concrete, except that subsequently Slough actually WAS bombed during WW2 (once by default) with considerable resultant fatal casualties. I wonder if Betjeman suffered pangs of conscience?
CG   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 13:30 GMT
I think many people have a deep-rooted dislike of Americans. I myself have an irational dislike, which doesn't really have a point. I find myself saying, "nothing good comes out of America, except that, and that. Oh, yeah, there's that as well. And that. OK, good stuff comes out of America, that doesn't mean I have to like it. And most Americans seem nice enough. But that doesn't mean they are nice. They obviously all are evil and hang around stroking their guns at night. Though probably not."

I think many British people resent America for neglecting to worship us as they should, being the Mothercountry, and for having better stuff than us and boasting. And also those annoying wars you start.

I mean this in the least inflamitory way possible. And MJD is right, I would never refer to myself as a Brit.
radi   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 13:41 GMT
i want get english with internet is can to listen .example ,if i quest you answer ok
CG   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 13:50 GMT
Damian   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 14:04 GMT
Let us all ponder a while and think rationally. Without American ingenuity and skill we would not be here conversing like we do.
CG   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 19:11 GMT
Yeah, well, without Britain we would not have the Post-it!
CG   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 19:12 GMT
Or America as we know it.
Damian   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 20:29 GMT

Please give it a rest and anyway I think it's way past your bedtime! Don't forget your Ovaltine! :)
Paul   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 12:01 GMT
mjd "I'll start with that sentence, Paul. It should read: "By the way, THE only thing....."

I type fast and occasionally, rarely, miss articles. Those typos, not even mistakes, are not of the kind that would somehow make my writing incomprehensible.

The Brit issue - here's a passage Guardian commentary published on 4th October, 2003 and printed as epilogue to the recent British edition of (American) Michael Moore's Dude, Where is My Country,
- which I've just finished reading:

"... Gary Younge meets an engaging man, who is intent on mobilizing America - and is extending the clarion call to us Brits, without whom, he believes, there would have been no war in Iraq."
Paul   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 12:04 GMT
CG: "I would never refer to myself as a Brit."

Neither would I
Paul   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 12:15 GMT
Damian: thanks a lot:)

I found out that Betjeman wrote Slough right before WWII not during the Blitz and I am quite sure his poem did not cause the bombing. On the other hand if it did then, well, Betjeman was far more than simply a poet.

I am amazed that other people don't know what those pollies are (and it's equally amazing that you found a site with the same question).

I thought this was just a regular British word.

Cigars in a box? Would that make sense? Derived from an obscure brand name now safely forgotten? Box of cigars on the bar counter. That would make at least some sense.

I have to agree with you about lighting gas I now think that in his poem Betjeman was referring to the past, to the 1890s, and in that context the lighting gas would make a great deal of sense .
Paul   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 12:17 GMT
fast typign:

here it is again -
........ a passage Guardian commentary published on 4th October

Of course it should read as ........FROM Guardian...

I missed "from

sorry about that