Basil Bunting was one of the most important British poets of the 20th century. Acknowledged since the s as a major figure in Modernist poetry, first by Pound. Briggflatts by Basil Bunting is one of the great poems of the twentieth century, though it has not always occupied a central place in discussions. Basil Bunting’s poem “Briggflatts” has been hailed as the successor to Ezra Pound’s “Cantos” and T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” Bunting himself.

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The work is subtitled “An Autobiography. In terms of the realist dimension, there may also be a glance here at the war and destruction Bunting witnessed in the mid-twentieth century we are now, chronologically, up to the ss. Basil Bunting reading from Briggflatts This video features four short extracts of Basil Bunting reading from his long poem Briggflatts not in orderfrom Peter Bell’s film portrait of Bunting, included on a DVD issued with the new Bloodaxe edition of Briggflatts which also has a CD of an audio recording Bunting made of the whole of Briggflatts in Show 25 25 50 All.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. Edge of the world; Northumbrian arcadia. In line with the moral of BriggflattsCuthbert was a quiet hero living on the margins of society who loved nature without seeking to control it. Fingers ache on the rubbing stone. For all that, one thing is certain in the end: While his invitation to plagiarise is tempting, readers will get more insight and pleasure by going direct to source, and dipping for themselves.

The young lovers touch and kiss in stanza five, a masterpiece of tactile finesse and density of texture. Many thanks are due to Newcastle University for their assistance with this project under the KTP scheme.

Bunting immediately takes us into the soundscape in their heads, and makes us hear all the small, complex interactions of horses and cartwheels. In one sense, this is pure sound evoking a pastoral idyll and it should be enjoyed as such: Part 1 is therefore the beginning of a process of remembering real things, literally the first chapter in an autobiography. Thanks for sharing this information with us.


The reasons for this are complex, and have to do with a range of contentious biographical and historical factors such as the marginal status of modernism in the UK and Bunting’s own variable reputation. All his poetry is available in Complete Poems Bloodaxe Books, Whatever a line stanza should be called, Bunting works it marvellously, entwining staccato and legato elements into one harmonious whole, like a flowing hillside studded by rocks.

Basil Bunting

Under sacks on the stone two children lie, hear the horse stale, the mason whistle, harness mutter to shaft, felloe to axle squeak, rut thud the rim, crushed grit. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Stone smooth as skin, cold as the dead they load on briggflayts low lorry by night.

Dance tiptoe, bull, black against may. In between these biographical fragments, more indirect passages and mythical subjects jostle in typical high-modernist fashion. This video features four short extracts of Basil Bunting reading from his long poem Briggflatts not in orderfrom Peter Bell’s film portrait of Bunting, included on a DVD issued with the new Bloodaxe edition of Briggflatts which also has a CD of an audio recording Bunting made of the whole of Briggflatts in The following brief guide should hopefully provide a good foundation for first-time readers.

My baasil comments will be far fewer than even five stanzas from this extraordinary and beautiful poem deserve. What exactly happens to Alexander on the mountain? The first part has a regular structure of 12 stanzas each containing 13 lines.

No one here bolts the door, love is so sore. The solemn mallet says: English poems United Kingdom poem stubs. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Ridiculous and lovely chase hurdling shadows morning into noon.

This page was last edited on 8 Mayat North Yorkshire; Lindisfarne; Tynedale. Notes on Free Verse”.

Briggflatts | Bloodaxe Books

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. It begins with allusions to the sixth-century poet Aneirin the correct spellingwhose most famous work Y Gododdin describes the Battle of Catterick brigfglatts its aftermath in North Yorkshire around AD. The rhythm and mood change dramatically in the first line of the next stanza: The text contains a note explaining that the word means “little sparrows” in a north-east dialect. It is a condensed summary of the key philosophical motifs in the previous sections: Topics Poetry Carol Rumens’s poem of the week.



A skilled musician can imagine the sound, more or less, and a skilled reader can try to hear, mentally, what his eyes see in print: University of Chicago Press,p. It was first read in public on 22 December at the Morden Towerand published in by Fulcrum Press. Rocks happen by chance. In Shahnameh, Alexander journeys with his troops to the mountains of Gog and Magog at the edge of the world.

To Rudman, the poem allows the subject to dictate the rhyming words and argues that the “solemn mallet” is allowed to change the patterns of speech in the poetry to meet with the themes discussed in the text. Mark Rudman suggests that “Briggflatts” is an example of how free verse can be seen as an advance on traditional metrical poetry. The purpose of this allusion is twofold.

Poetry must be read aloud. Stocking to stocking, jersey to jersey, head to a hard arm, they kiss under the rain, bruised by their marble bed.

Lying dazed in the moss and bracken after his fall from the mountain, he encounters the hero of Briggflattsthe slowworm actually a snake-like lizard who advises him to lie low, be patient, persistent and mindful of the beauty of his surroundings.

But it is arguably more vital and, dare I say it, accessible than those works, and can in fact be appreciated pretty well by first-time readers. My intention is to try to shine light on the basic subjects and structures of the poem, without diminishing its music and magic.

The opening passages of the section caricature greedy, powerful people who obstruct creativity and make life a literal shitty nightmare.