Programme 3 – John Betjeman: Before the Anaesthetic or A Real Fright

Sir John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman

In our next three programmes we hear three of Lance’s favourite poems. We begin today with a deeply personal poem by John Betjeman: Before the Anaesthetic or A Real Fright

Download: Programme 3

RSS Feed: The Poetry Podcast with Lance Pierson

Youtube: Programme 3

You can find most of Betjeman’s poems in John Betjeman, Collected Poems, published by John Murray.  There is a fuller list of books at

You can hear 72 of his most famous poems on: ‘John Betjeman: A First Class Collection’, BBC Audio and the best of the rest on ‘The John Betjeman You Never Knew‘ by Lance Pierson

Find out more about The Betjeman Society here

AN Wilson’s list of 31 Betjeman poems that he considered to be among the best written poems (in English) in the 20th century

Aldershot Crematorium

The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel

Business Girls

By the Ninth Green, St Enodoc


The Cockney Amorist

The Costa Blanca


Death in Leamington

Death of King George V

Devonshire Street, W.1




In a Bath Teashop

In Willesden Churchyard

Invasion Exercise on the Poultry Farm

Ireland with Emily

Late-Flowering Lust

Lenten Thoughts of a High Anglican

The Licorice Fields at Pontefract



Myfanwy  at Oxford

Oxford: Sudden Illness at the Bus-stop

Parliament Hill Fields

Pershore Station

St Saviour’s, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, London N

A Subaltern’s Love Song

Sun and Fun

Youth and Age on Beaulieu River, Hants


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