"BESIDE THOSE SPIRES SO SPICK AND SPAN / AGAINST AN UNENCUMBERED SKY / THE OLD GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY RAN / WHEN SOMEONE DIFFERENT WAS I"
BETJEMAN, John. Slick But Not Streamlined. Garden City: Doubleday, 1947. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. $250.
First edition of the first collection of Betjeman's verse published in the United States, selected and with an introduction by Auden.
"I am tempted at this point to try to forestall any idiotic critic who may think—whether with approval or disapproval is all one, for both are equally wrongheaded—that Mr. Betjeman's poems are trivial, that, because he does not write earnestly about religion, love, and death, he is lacking in real faith and sincere emotion, but I realise that the blind cannot be argued into vision" (from Auden's introduction). Peterson A14.a. Price-clipped dust jacket with later price stamped in ink beneath original one.
Book fine, dust jacket with toning to spine, small chip to spine head. A near-fine copy.