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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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 basip 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 Posted by Alex Niven at In between these biographical briggflatte, more indirect passages and mythical subjects jostle in typical high-modernist fashion.

Meanwhile, the labour of the mason goes on, a two-stanza ostinato-bass of tapping and sanding and getting the memorial-work done. What exactly happens to Alexander on the mountain?

The section is based on an episode from the medieval Persian epic poem Shahnameh, which includes a portrayal of the Greek leader Alexander the Great BC. Decay thrusts the blade, wheat stands in excrement trembling. As a teacher of undergraduate students over the last few years, I have found that Part 1 in particular lends itself very well to group reading and seminar discussion: Deeper history also comes to the surface with the first, brief appearance of the Viking warrior and sometime ruler of Northumbria Eric Bloodaxe, killed in battle on Stainmore around AD.

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.


The solemn mallet says: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. However, that is not quite the whole story; bunying is also a definite realist narrative here.

Part 1 is the most immediate and tightly structured in the poem. Many thanks are due to Newcastle University for their assistance with this project under the KTP scheme.

Poem of the week: from Briggflatts by Basil Bunting

The verse here is emphatically musical, foregrounding alliteration, assonance and internal rhyme, with a stark rhyming couplet at the end of each stanza to draw it to a close. So the poem begins with an incantation, evoking youthful sexual energy and copiousness.

North Northumberland, Farne Islands. Order by newest oldest recommendations. But now that he is an old man the perspective is different. 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.

Briggflatts – Part I – Poem by Basil Bunting

Topics Poetry Carol Rumens’s poem of the week. Bunting believed that the essential element of poetry is the sound, and that if the sound is right, the listener will hear, enjoy and be moved; and that there may be no need for further explanation.

The rhyme scheme also changes throughout the poem as the bulk of the text appears in free verse while other lines do contain rhyming patterns.

The poem begins with an epigraph reading: Virtuoso of the verb and grand-master of briggfllatts preposition, he rarely wastes time on an adverb, but is more liberal with exact and sensuous adjectives. Rocks happen by chance. 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.

Briggflatts is a long poem by Basil Bunting published in In each stanzaic unit, all significant words and few are not significant make alliterative or assonantal relationships with others.


Fingers ache on the rubbing stone. The young lovers touch and kiss in stanza five, a masterpiece of tactile finesse and density of texture. The opening passages of the section caricature greedy, powerful people who obstruct creativity and bwsil life a literal shitty nightmare. Views Read Edit View briggrlatts. Poetry lies dead on the page until some voice brings it to life, just as music on the stave, is no more than instructions to the player.

Briggflatts – Wikipedia

His syntax is so rigorously constructed that not a word, a breath, a letter, briggflwtts, seems wasted. While his invitation to plagiarise brriggflatts tempting, readers will get more insight and pleasure by going direct to source, and dipping for briggflats.

Tellingly, the poem ends with a question mark this is a work of literature that proclaims its own uncertainty and inability to conquer the world with language. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Loading comments… Trouble loading? 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: Basil Bunting was one of the most important British poets of the 20th century.

What sort of divine intervention briggfkatts at play here? You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. By such rocks men killed Bloodaxe. It was first read in public on 22 December at the Morden Towerand published in by Fulcrum Press. It’s very helpful for us. Part 1 is therefore the beginning of a process of remembering real things, literally the first chapter in an autobiography.

Ridiculous and lovely chase hurdling shadows morning into noon. This page was last edited on 8 Mayat