John Betjeman's poem "Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden" begins:

Miles of pram in the wind and Pam in the gorse track,

Can someone please explain the meaning of "Miles of pram in the wind"
John Betjeman's poem "Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden" begins: Miles of pram in the wind and Pam in the gorse track, Can someone please explain the meaning of "Miles of pram in the wind"

One explanation is given in the London Review of Books: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n15/letters.html
Small Questions about Prams etc
From Fay Zwicky
Zachary Leader (Letters, 6 July) wants to know the meaning of the world 'pram' in John Betjeman's line 'Miles of pram in the wind and Pam in the gorse track'. He shouldn't be so literal about 'miles'. To a young, fastidious recoiler from reality, the bulky sway of two or three well-sprung Edwardian prams on a narrow footpath might well have seemed a never-ending cortège attendant on the extinction of youthful freedom.
The poem's opening lines set up ambivalences of urban v. rural, tame v. wild and so on, and may be a clumsy elliptical reference to roads not taken. Maybe 'miles of pram' is stretching things a bit, though as an impressionistic stab at conflating blighted pavements and Surrey pinewoods as well as foreshadowing the fettering domesticity awaiting his adored Amazonian Pams, Joans and Myfanwys it works well enough. Betjeman's footnote to the concluding lines of an earlier poem, 'Dorset', warns of his occasionally wayward preference for sound over sense: 'put in not out of malice or satire but merely for their euphony'.

Fay Zwicky
Claremont, Western Australia
BrE definitions:
pram: short for perambulator, a baby carriage
pavement: footpath at the side of a road, AmE sidewalk

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
John Betjeman's poem "Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden" begins: ... explain the meaning of "Miles of pram in the wind"

One explanation is given in the London Review of Books:http://www.EnglishForward.com#error Small Questions about Prams etc From Fay Zwicky Zachary Leader ... perambulator, a baby carriage pavement: footpath at the side of a road, AmE sidewalk Peter Duncanson, UK (in alt.english.usage)

Is there any reason to dismiss the much more logical reading of Miles as a name? Miles is in the pram, Pam is in the gorse?
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On 27 Apr 2007 08:59:44 -0700, Flying Tortoise
One explanation is given in the London Review of Books:http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n15/letters.html ... a road, AmE sidewalk Peter Duncanson, UK (in alt.english.usage)

Is there any reason to dismiss the much more logical reading of Miles as a name? Miles is in the pram, Pam is in the gorse?

I think a reason to dismiss any straightforward logical reading is that the piece is a poem written by John Betjeman.

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
"Flying Tortoise" wrote;
Is there any reason to dismiss the much more logical reading of Miles as a name? Miles is in the pram, Pam is in the gorse?
I think the word "of" suggests otherwise.
I suppose that, in the end, we have to concede poet's licence and interpret the words in the light of our own experience.
If "pram" really refers to perambulator, then I would read it as pushing a pram for miles in the wind while Pam takes the path through the gorse. But, as the article referred to earlier points out, it is possible that Betjeman uses "pram" to refer to some kind of vegetation. I guess we'll never know.
One explanation is given in the London Review of Books:http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n15/letters.html

Is there any reason to dismiss the much more logical reading of Miles as a name? Miles is in the pram, Pam is in the gorse?

So what is "Miles of pram"? A title? Sir Miles of pram? Lord Miles of pram? Is 'Miles of pram' a location - like Schumacher of racing car or Lindbergh of aeroplane?
How is Miles 'in the wind'? Windy? Winding? Winded? Being winded?
John Dean
Oxford
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John Betjeman's poem "Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden" begins: ... explain the meaning of "Miles of pram in the wind"

The poem fantasizes about a relationship between the poet and "Pam". Rereading the poem, the impression I get is that ... charge. Of course: this is just my impression and may be completely different from what the poet intended. Cheers, Daniel.

Having had time to read the whole poem I now think likewise, ie. the reading should be something along the lines of 'miles of walking with a pram in the wind' with 'wind' as an intentional visual pun since, pronounced 'wined', it can also mean a twisting track, a tortuous path etc.