Basil Bunting

(1900-1985 / England)

Basil Bunting
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Basil Cheesman Bunting (1 March 1900 – 17 April 1985) was a significant British modernist poet whose reputation was established with the publication of Briggflatts in 1966. He had a lifelong interest in music that led him to emphasise the sonic qualities of poetry, particularly the importance of reading poetry aloud. He was an accomplished reader of his own work.

Born into a Quaker family in Scotswood-on-Tyne, Northumberland (now part of Newcastle upon Tyne). He studied at two Quaker schools: from 1912–1916 at Ackworth School in Yorkshire and from 1916–1918 at Leighton Park School in Berkshire. His Quaker education strongly influenced his pacifist opposition to World War I, and in... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''To appreciate present conditions
    collate them with those of antiquity.''
    Basil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. Chomei at Toyama.
  • I hate Science. It denies a man's responsibility for his own deeds, abolishes the brotherhood that springs from God's fatherhood. It is a hectoring, dictating expertise, which makes the least lovable ...
    Basil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. letter, Jan. 1, 1947, to poet Louis Zukofsky. Quoted in The Poetry of Basil Bunting, ch. 6, by Victoria Forde...
  • The mystic purchases a moment of exhilaration with a lifetime of confusion; and the confusion is infectious and destructive. It is confusing and destructive to try and explain anything in terms of any...
    Basil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. letter, Sept. 1932, to poet Louis Zukofsky. Quoted in Victoria Forde, The Poetry of Basil Bunting, ch. 2 (199...
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Comments about Basil Bunting

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  • Rookie Katarina Lacuskova (1/6/2005 7:36:00 AM)

    I am really sorry, I will not write a comment now.I am looking for some American authors to pass my exam on American literature.I will contact you later when I have more free time.
    Have a nice time.
    Katarina

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Best Poem of Basil Bunting

Briggflatts - Part I

I

Brag, sweet tenor bull,
descant on Rawthey’s madrigal,
each pebble its part
for the fells’ late spring.
Dance tiptoe, bull,
black against may.
Ridiculous and lovely
chase hurdling shadows
morning into noon.
May on the bull’s hide
and through the dale
furrows fill with may,
paving the slowworm’s way.


A mason times his mallet
to a lark’s twitter,
listening while the marble rests,
lays his rule
at a letter’s edge,
fingertips checking,
till the stone spells a name
naming none,
a man abolished. ...

Read the full of Briggflatts - Part I

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