for L. E. M.

We give no compensation,
  The earth is ours today,
And if we lose on arable,
  Then bungalows will pay.

  All concrete sheds … etc.


—John Betjeman, “Harvest Hymn”

 

We rowed out to Paquachuck Inn
Too late to get the morning papers.
All week we had been sleeping in:
All night we’d listen to the breakers’
Slow consoling roar,
After days spent on the shore
In rippling arguments
Among the salty scents
Of Buzzard’s Bay.
I won’t forget that one calm day
We rowed out to the Inn at last in time
To get the papers: that air of kelp and thyme
And you stay with me in East Anglia,
Anglesey, Polzeath, Daymer … etc.

 

A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 1, on page 32
Copyright © 2021 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
https://newcriterion.com/issues/2004/9/etc