28. August 2011

St. Saviour's, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, London, N. (Sir John Betjeman)

St. Saviour's Church, Aberdeen Park (Foto: geograph.org)

Heute ist nicht nur der Geburtstag des deutschen Dichterfürsten Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe, sondern auch der des britischen Lyrikers Sir John Betjeman (1906 - 1984), dem Jay auf seinem Blog "silvae" einen sehr schönen Beitrag gewidmet hat.

Betjemans Gedichte sind in ihrer Liebe zu Land und Leuten, ihrer tief empfundenen Gläubigkeit und in ihrem Humor sehr typisch englisch; nicht ohne Grund ist der Poet Laureate auch heute noch einer der meistgelesenen Dichter in Großbritannien.

Dass er hierzulande recht unbekannt geblieben ist, ist schade.

Das nachstehende Gedicht Betjemans hat mir, auch wenn mein persönlicher Hintergrund ein anderer ist als der des gutbürgerlichen Anglokatholiken Betjeman, immer viel bedeutet:

St. Saviour's, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, London, N.

With oh such peculiar branching and over-reaching of wire
Trolley-bus standards pick their threads from the London sky
Diminishing up the perspective, Highbury-bound retire
Threads and buses and standards with plane trees volleying by
And, more peculiar still, that ever-increasing spire
Bulges over the housetops, polychromatic and high.

Stop the trolley-bus, stop! And here, where the roads unite
Of weariest worn-out London - no cigarettes, no beer,
No repairs undertaken, nothing in stock - alight;
For over the waste of willow-herb, look at her, sailing clear,
A great Victorian church, tall, unbroken and bright
In a sun that's setting in Willesden and saturating us here.

These were the streets my parents knew when they loved and won -
The brougham that crunched the gravel, the laurel-girt paths that wind,
Geranium beds for the lawn, venetian blinds for the sun,
A separate tradesmen's entrance, straw in the mews behind,
Just in the four-mile radius, where hackney carriages run
Solid Italianate houses for the solid commercial mind.

These were the streets they knew ; and I, by descent, belong
To those tall neglected houses divided into flats
Only the church remains, where carriages used to throng
And my mother stepped out in flounces, and my father stepped out in spats
To shadowy stained-glass matins, or gas-lit evensong
And back in a country quiet with doffing of chimney hats.

Great red church of my parents, cruciform crossing they knew -
Over these same encaustics they and their parents trod
Bound through a red-brick transept for a once familiar pew
Where the organ set them singing and the sermon let them nod
And up this coloured brickwork the same long shadows grew
As these in the stencilled chancel where I kneel in the presence of God.

aus: Sir John Betjeman, Collected Poems, John Murray Publishers 2003

Keine Kommentare: