Complete Poems

Complete Poems

Basil Bunting Richard Caddel / Nov 13, 2019

Complete Poems A master of song poems which celebrate and incarnate the music of nature and history love and mythology religion and language Basil Bunting was a major figure in Modernist poetry recogni

  • Title: Complete Poems
  • Author: Basil Bunting Richard Caddel
  • ISBN: 9780811215633
  • Page: 268
  • Format: Paperback
  • A master of song poems which celebrate and incarnate the music of nature and history, love and mythology, religion and language, Basil Bunting 1900 1985 was a major figure in Modernist poetry, recognized by Pound and Zukofsky as early as the 1930s, and crowned, with the 1966 publication of his masterpiece Briggflatts, Britain s greatest poet The poet himself called hiA master of song poems which celebrate and incarnate the music of nature and history, love and mythology, religion and language, Basil Bunting 1900 1985 was a major figure in Modernist poetry, recognized by Pound and Zukofsky as early as the 1930s, and crowned, with the 1966 publication of his masterpiece Briggflatts, Britain s greatest poet The poet himself called his great epic poem old wives chatter, cottage wisdom, but for many writers Briggflatts is one of the dozen great poems of the 20th century as Cyril Connolly put it, the finest long poem to have been published in England since T S Eliot s Four Quartets As well as Briggflatts long out of print in the US, and now only available in this edition , this new Complete Poems includes Bunting s other great sonatas, most notably Villon 1925 and The Spoils 1951 , along with his two books of Odes, his vividly realized Overdrafts as he called his free translations of Horace, Rudaki, and others , and his brilliantly condensed Japanese adaptation, Chomei at Toyama 1932 It also includes his posthumous Uncollected Poems This centenary edition has an introduction by Richard Caddel, Director of the Basil Bunting Poetry Center at Durham University.

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    About "Basil Bunting Richard Caddel"

      • Basil Bunting Richard Caddel

        Born into a Quaker family in Scotswood on Tyne, Northumberland now part of Newcastle upon Tyne , Bunting was educated at the Royal Grammar School there for two years He then studied at two Quaker schools from 1912 1916 at Ackworth School in Yorkshire and from 1916 1918 at Leighton Park School in Berkshire 2 His Quaker education strongly influenced his pacifist opposition to World War I, and in 1918 he was arrested as a conscientious objector, serving a sentence of than a year in Wormwood Scrubs and Winchester prisons 3 These events were to have an important role in his first major poem, Villon 1925 Villon was one of a rather rare set of complexly structured poems that Bunting labelled sonatas, thus underlining the sonic qualities of his verse and recalling his love of music After his release from prison in 1920, traumatized by the time spent in jail, Bunting went to London, where he enrolled in the London School of Economics, and had his first contacts with journalists, social activists and Bohemia Tradition has it that it was Nina Hamnett who introduced him to the works of Ezra Pound by lending him a copy of Homage to Sextus Propertius The glamour of the cosmopolitan modernist examples of Nina Hamnett and Mina Loy seems to have influenced Bunting in his later move from London to Paris.After having travelled in Northern Europe while holding small secretarial jobs in London, Bunting left the London School of Economics without a degree and went to France There, in 1923, he became friendly with Ezra Pound, who years later would dedicate his Guide to Kulchur 1938 to both Bunting and Louis Zukofsky, strugglers in the desert Bunting s poetry began to show the influence of this friendship He visited Pound in Rapallo, Italy, and later settled there with his family from 1931 to 1933 He was published in the Objectivist issue of Poetry magazine, in the Objectivist Anthology, and in Pound s Active Anthology He also worked as a music critic during this time.During World War II, Bunting served in British Military Intelligence in Persia After the war, he continued to serve on the British Embassy staff in Tehran until he was expelled by Muhammad Mussadegh in 1952.Back in Newcastle, he worked as a journalist on the Evening Chronicle until his rediscovery during the 1960s by young poets, notably Tom Pickard, who were interested in working in the modernist tradition In 1966, he published his major long poem, Briggflatts, named for the Quaker meeting house in Cumbria where he is now buried enpedia wiki Basil_Bu


    238 Comments

    1. Basil Bunting: Complete Poems Associate Editor: Richard CaddelNew Directions Press239 pp. $ 16.95 paperReviewed by Jamey Hecht for American Book Reviewamericanbookreview/issueCo This new edition of a great Modernist innovator is a gift for the reading public. Everybody who’s ever been changed by Ezra Pound, Eliot, Jeffers, H.D or even Dylan Thomas will recognize the landscape of this work. Like Pound, Bunting is a floridly learned, serious character. He worked with Pound at Rapallo from 1929 [...]


    2. This is really a review of Bunting's long poem "Briggflatts" disguised as a review of this book in which it can be found. Bunting was a great poet whose poems are all worth reading, but "Briggflatts" was his masterpiece. It's like Eliot's "Wasteland" if Eliot had not been a snob, or like his "Four Quartets" without the religion. It's like Pound's Cantos if Pound hadn't been a little nuts. (Note: I love all those other poets and poems, too. I just like “Briggflatts” best.)Here's the opening s [...]


    3. A few years before he died in 1985, Basil Bunting gave a reading of his works in Morden Tower, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. I was pleased to be there. It remains in my mind as a good memory. Among other poets, I saw Ted Hughes and Stephen Spender recite their poetry in the late 1970's in the same place. I bought Complete Poems by Basil Bunting mostly because it contains his famous poem, Briggflatts. It was a pleasure to read, as it summoned memories of the moors and coast of Northumberland, and [...]


    4. The cult of Bunting has probably done him a disservice by focusing on his marginality, heroic crankiness, and stoic service to his allegedly wayward muse. The poems read better without all the baggage of hagiography.-----Returning to Bunting after a few years away, I'm sad to say the work isn't aging well. It's defining characteristic now seems to me -surprisingly, given Bunting's rep- a pronounced fussiness, an almost embarassing fetishizing of sound. And the occasional sentimentality jars, aga [...]


    5. I have the Oxford edition of the Complete, but it is the same. One of the very best modernist poets of all time. The clarity, the use of consonants, the cadence, the subject matter, it's all there. Bunting wrote a fairly small body of work, but every poem is grade a OMG fabulous poem. The ghazals, Briggflats, all of it. Can't say enough about this poet. Bunting blows most of his peers out of the water. Just read Briggflatts aloud some timeyou'll see what I mean.


    6. Basil Bunting writes interesting poems on very diverse subjects in a readable style. He is labelled a "modernist" poet, greatly influenced by Ezra Pound, and this may be an unhelpful label if it makes people reluctant to turn the pages and give them time to work their magic. He himself could mock modernism - certainly in its musical form: What a pity that Bela BartokCannot give his smug public a shockBy writing in parts For the hiccups and fartsAnd conducting the piece withHe strongly advocated [...]


    7. This book is-- interesting-- he says, knowingly echoing the safe answer that the unsure student gives in class. It is kind of cool to see a late blooming modernist doing his thing in defiance of what other people appear to care about. Yet there is very little to grab onto: he acknowledges the readers' claims less, perhaps, than anyone, which is one of the reasons he is more or less completely unknown. There are long passages of solid poetry that sounds good but doesn't do much else. Once in a wh [...]


    8. Basil Bunting was a modernist poet, as well as a “poet’s poet.” He has been most appreciated by other great poets such as Ezra Pound, Alleng Ginsberg, W.S. Merwin, Donald Davie, and others. He has been compared at times to Eliot. Only readers of poetry will not consider his name obscure.This volume is interesting because it shows Bunting’s hunt for style throughout his long career. Without doubt, his greatest poem is the five-part autobiographical poem Briggflatts. The fifth is my favori [...]


    9. Ok, my rating only applies to "Briggflatts"; I found an old copy at a library, but doesn't seem to have a separate entry for it. Anyway, this long poem is pretty amazing and it's one of the most musical pieces of writing I've ever read. The Northumbrian dialect was a bit difficult for me to read, but I learned some fun new words: "spuggies" are little sparrows, and "gentles" are maggots :)


    10. Until Faber stop stuffing around and publish their proposed critical edition, this is the one poetry book from the twentieth century I wouldn't be without.




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