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Look Up, Look Up, Whatever You Do

-Look Up, Look Down Challenge, Week 13

Every Thursday, I publish a post containing photos taken from above or below, and invite you to join the challenge by posting your own photos with an up or down perspective.
This week I’m taking a poetic view.



Sir John Betjeman, English poet, St Pancras Station

“Great poetry does not have to be technically intricate.”
-James Fenton

Sir John Betjeman (1906–1984) was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who’s Who as a “poet and hack” and would no doubt have agreed with Fenton’s quote above.

He studied at Oxford but left without a degree, became  a journalist, jointly developed the Shell guides to Britain, and eventually became a much-loved poet.  The wry humour and general accessibility of his poetry endeared him to the public and he became one of the most popular British Poets Laureate and a much-loved figure on British television. He wrote about ordinary British places, such as Camberley, Croydon, Margate and Slough, and ordinary activities, such as riding a train or hiking on the Downs.

A little snippet from his poem “Margate, 1940”:
“Oh! then what a pleasure to see the ground floor
With tables for two laid as table for four,

And bottles of sauce and Kia-Ora and squash
Awaiting the owners who’d gone up to wash”

He was also a passionate defender of Victorian architecture. He fought determinedly to save the  Euston Arch in London, but failed. When St Pancras Station was similarly threatened, he joined the fight and is considered instrumental in helping to save it.  As a result he was commemorated by means of a statue when the station was upgraded and renovated in 2007.


“What [the Londoner] sees in his mind’s eye is that cluster of towers and pinnacles seen from Pentonville Hill and outlined against a foggy sunset, and the great arc of Barlow’s train shed gaping to devour incoming engines, and the sudden burst of exuberant Gothic of the hotel seen from gloomy Judd Street.”



And in case you’re wondering, it really is worth looking up in St Pancras Station:

aDSC07818 aDSC05553

The Challenge

Click here to enter the challenge

Every Thursday, I publish a post containing photos taken from above or below, and invite you to join in the challenge by posting your own photos with an up or down perspective.  Just publish your post as normal and then link it to this challenge.

Thanks go to everyone who entered last week, there were some really beautiful photos.  You can see entries from previous weeks on my Pinterest board if you are seeking inspiration, or are  just plain nosy.

So please show us what you have; share your up or down perspective with us.  Click here to enter your link and to view other entries.  And please don’t forget to go and visit the other challengers and pass on your views and encouragement.

To find out more about how to enter, click here.  The list will open each Thursday at 00:01 GMT and will be open for a week..

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Also linked to Ese’s Shoot and Quote Challenge: Intricate.

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