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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Part 1 is therefore the beginning of a process of remembering real things, literally the first chapter in an autobiography.

Basil Bunting

The solemn mallet says: Dance tiptoe, bull, black against may. 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.

It does help, it is true, to have a skeleton key to unlock the door to Briggflatts. This page was last edited on 8 Mayat Tongue stumbles, ears err for fear of spring.

His syntax is so rigorously constructed that not a word, a breath, a letter, even, seems wasted. The text contains a note explaining that the word means “little sparrows” in a north-east dialect.


In one sense, this is pure sound evoking a pastoral idyll and it should be enjoyed as such: Nevertheless, Bunting intended it to be the climax of the narrative. Thanks for sharing this information with us.


My own comments will be far fewer than even five stanzas from this extraordinary and beautiful poem deserve. Posted by Alex Niven at 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.

Basil Bunting was one of the most important British poets of the 20th century. This article related to a poem from the UK is a stub. All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from November Articles with permanently dead external links Webarchive template wayback links All stub articles.

Briggflatts – Wikipedia

Topics Poetry Carol Rumens’s poem of the week. Decay thrusts the blade, wheat stands in excrement trembling. English poems United Kingdom poem stubs. Ridiculous and lovely chase hurdling shadows morning into noon. The poem begins with an epigraph reading: The moon sits on the fell but it will rain. Briggflatts is a dense, carefully wrought high-modernist work.

Rocks happen by chance. 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. The hunting passages of the section caricature greedy, powerful people who obstruct creativity and make life a literal shitty nightmare.

Retrieved from ” https: An introduction to the work of a poet was made by Northeast Films and first shown on Channel Four in It is a condensed summary of the key philosophical motifs in the previous sections: The work is subtitled “An Autobiography. In each stanzaic unit, all significant words and few are not significant make alliterative or assonantal relationships with others.


The bull will re-appear later, when Bunting recalls the legend of Pasiphae. What exactly happens to Alexander on the mountain? Bunting immediately takes us into the soundscape in their heads, and makes us hear all the small, complex buntig of horses and cartwheels. Painful lark, labouring to rise! My intention is to try to shine light on the basic subjects and structures of the poem, without diminishing its music and magic.

Briggflatts | Bloodaxe Books

In the following four parts the stanzas vary in length from couplets to quatrains to stanzas of more than 20 lines. Speaking of letters, try and listen to one of the online recordings of Bunting himself reciting, and note how audibly he pronounces the letter R, wherever in a word it may occur.

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. The following brief guide should hopefully provide a good foundation for first-time readers.