A NEW collection of unpublished poems by Sir John Betjeman has been unearthed.

The late poet laureate, who went to Oxford University and lived in Wantage, is thought to have written Harvest Bells as a student in the mid-1920s.

The collection was written as he was finding his poetic voice, with one poem, Sweets and Cake, hinting at homosexuality.

Sir John was married with children, but famously fell for a woman called Joan Hunter Dunn, inspiring his poem of the same name.

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But Sweets and Cake, one of several poems in the new collection, suggests the poet may not have just had eyes for women. 

Today's Sunday Times details how Sweets and Cake takes an interesting turn with the line 'I say, you're awfully decent, Ted / Let's find a place and go to bed', although Ted may refer to Sir John's teddy bear.

The poem was written several decades before homosexual acts were decriminalised in Britain in 1967.

Sir John lived in Wantage from 1951 to 1972 with his wife Penelope and their children, Paul and Candida.

Read also: More information about Wantage's Betjeman Millenium Park

The town's Betjeman Millennium Park contains a poetry trail made up of inscribed stones featuring extracts from his poems. 

Harvest Bells is due to be released on June 27 and is available to pre-order.