Miss Joan Hunter Dunn 1915 - 2008

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by henrywicks, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. Betjeman's muse and the subject of 'The Subaltern's Love Song', Joan Hunter Dunn, died on Friday.

    May she rest in peace, the dream of a bygone age.
  2. How sad. Yet another one gone from my little black book.
  3. A wonderful poem of a time gone by.

    And here it is.

    A Subalterns Love Song

    Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
    Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
    What strenuous singles we played after tea,
    We in the tournament - you against me!

    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.

    Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
    How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
    The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
    But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

    Her father's euonymus shines as we walk,
    And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
    And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
    To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

    The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
    The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
    As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
    For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

    On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
    And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
    And westering, questioning settles the sun,
    On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

    The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
    The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
    My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
    And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

    By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
    She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
    Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
    And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

    Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
    I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
    Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
    Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

    Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
    Above us the intimate roof of the car,
    And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
    With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

    And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
    And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
    We sat in the car park till twenty to one
    And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
  4. If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...

    "We sat in the car until twenty to one
    Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

    (I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
  5. Cuddles, You have just ruined the poem for me - for ever.

    I will never be able to think of the poem without Your rewrite :D
  6. Hmmm - only 10 syllables in your rewrite as opposed to 11 in the original - still doesn't sound write IMO. How about:

    "We sat in the car until twenty to one
    And now I'm balls deep in Miss J Hunter Dunn" ?
  7. Yes, thank you the pair of you, I'm sure that's quite enough messing about with Betjeman (and no, don't even go there!). Go and sit on the naughty chair until you have reflected sufficiently on the error of your ways. Be off with you!
  8. How sad. Feeling all nostalgic now. The days of Hillmans are long since gone.........

  9. "We sat in the car until twenty to one
    Then, 'No, no: not there!', squealed, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn"?

    I have to say, that the thought of her as a 93 year old just isn't the same.
  10. What about:

    "Then I roared up the wrong 'un of Joan Hunter Dunn!" ?

    :p :p

    I'll get me coat. :oops:
  11. Try...

    "We sat in the car until twenty to one
    Then I kicked in the back doors of Miss J Hunter Dunn..." 8)

    My intro to lit tutor at UCL would be soooo proud of me for that one :lol:
  12. Try this..

    "We sat in the car until twenty to one
    Then I hung out the back of Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

    I must read some JB when I get home tonight...

    ..and raise a glass to Miss J Hunter Dunn
  13. ANd a warm welcome to the April edition of "The light relief CA thread" :D
  14. Lime and Gin, surely - in honour of the poem?
  15. Absolutely. I may even play Banana Blush in the background whilst drinking it.