Friday, April 18, 2008

A poet's muse has died

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn has died at 92.

Joan Jackson, who died on April 11 aged 92, was in her earlier life Joan Hunter Dunn, the inspiration for Sir John Betjeman's most popular poem, A Subaltern's Love-song, ...- and conjured up his reverie about them being affianced and playing tennis together:

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've won,

The warm-handled racket is back in its press,

But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

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