Thursday, 15 May 2008

The Second Myfanwy, as Promised

Pink may, double may dead laburnum
Shedding an Anglo-Jackson shade,
Shall we ever, my staunch Myfanwy,
Bicycle down to North Parade?
Kant on the handle-bars, Marx in the saddle bag,
Light my touch on your shoulder-blade.

Sancta Hilda, Myfanwyatia
Evansensis - I hold your heart,
Willowy banks of Willowy Cherwell a
Willowy figure with lips apart,
Strong and willowy, strong to pillow me,
Gold Myfanwy, kisses and art.

Tubular bells of tall St Barnabas,
Single clatter above St Paul,
Chasuble, acolyte, incense-offering,
Spectacled faces held in thrall.
There in the nimbus and Comper tracery
Gold Myfanwy blesses us all.

Gleam of gas upon Oxford Station,
Gleam of gas on her straight gold hair,
Hair flung back with ostentation,
Waiting alone for a girl friend there.
Second in Mods and a Third for Theology
Came to breathe the Oxford air.

Her Myfanwy as in Cadena days,
Her Myfanwy, a schoolgirl voice,
Tentative brush of a cheek in a cocoa crush,
Coffee and Ulysses, Tennyson, Joyce,
Alpha-minded and other dimensional,
Freud or Calvary? Take your choice.

Her Myfanwy? My Myfanwy.
Bicycle bells in Boar's Hill Pine,
Stedman Triple from All Saints' steeple,
Tom and his hundred and one at nine,
Bells of Butterfield, caught in Keble,
Sally and backstroke answer "Mine!"

John Betjeman


Gumbo Lily said...

I liked this. I'm an American so I'd like to know how YOU say "Myfanwy". I know you pronounce differently even though we both speak "English."


Dulce Domum said...

Hi Jody

It's so nice to hear from you again! Here's how I pronounce "Myfanwy":

Mifanwi....However, I am not Welsh, it sounds so much prettier when said in a Welsh accent!