Basil Bunting Poems
- On The Fly-Leaf Of Pound's Can... There are the Alps. What is...
- At Briggflatts Meetinghouse Boasts time mocks cumber Rome. ...
- What The Chairman Told Tom Poetry? It's a hobby. I run model...
- Gin The Goodwife Stint The ploughland has gone to bent and ...
- Briggflatts - Part I I Brag, sweet tenor bull, descant on...
- Nothing Nothing substance utters or time stills and ...
- Coda A strong song tows us, long earsick. Blind, we ...
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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Quotationsmore quotations »
''To appreciate present conditionsBasil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. Chomei at Toyama.
collate them with those of antiquity.''
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...
On The Fly-Leaf Of Pound's Cantos
There are the Alps. What is there to say about them?
They don't make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,
jumbled boulder and weed, pasture and boulder, scree,
et l'on entend, maybe, le refrain joyeux et leger.
Who knows what the ice will have scraped on the rock it is smoothing?
There they are, you will have to go a long way round
if you want to avoid them.
It takes some getting used to. There are the Alps,
fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble!