I'm really enjoying spending time in the 1940s at the moment. The novel I have in mind is going to be set in the war years and I'm at that stage of gathering material, mood and feel.
As well as reading up on the Land Army I've been re-visiting an old collection of the poems of Sir John Betjeman. I had a fierce crush on his work a few years ago, but then fell out of love - so it's great to go back.
|1940s tennis girl|
She's 'furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun', sporty, strong and confident.
Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.
I want to be her, I want to be him. It's all a bit confusing (as is his mention of her boyish grace...) And it also feels a bit voyeuristic:
On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and short,
And the cream-colour walls are be-trophied with sports...
And is it just me but do I dectect a hint of the spanko sentiment?
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!
PS There was a real Joan, who apparently died in 2008. JB's poem was, she said, mostly fantasy.