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Briggflatts

Briggflatts

Paperback

By (author) Basil Bunting, Illustrated by Peter Bell, Read by Basil Bunting

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  • Publisher: BLOODAXE BOOKS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 64 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 230mm x 12mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 10 June 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Tyne and Wear
  • ISBN 10: 1852248262
  • ISBN 13: 9781852248260
  • Sales rank: 209,853

Product description

Basil Bunting is one of the most important British poets of the 20th century. Acknowledged since the 1930s as a major figure in Modernist poetry, first by Pound and Zukofsky and later by younger writers, the Northumbrian master poet had to wait over 30 years before his genius was finally recognised in Britain - in 1966, with the publication of "BRIGGFLATTS", which Cyril Connolly called 'the finest long poem to have been published in England since T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets". Bunting called "BRIGGFLATTS" his 'autobiography'. It is a complex work, drawing on many elements of his life, experience and knowledge, and features the saint Cuthbert and the warrior king Eric Bloodaxe as two opposing aspects of the Northumbrian - and his - character. Its structural models include the sonata form (and Scarlatti's music in particular) and the latticework of the Lindisfarne Gospels, while thematically it recalls Wordsworth's "Prelude". Bunting wrote that 'Poetry, like music, is to be heard.' His own readings of his own work are essential listening for a full appreciation of his highly musical poetry. This new edition includes a CD with an audio recording Bunting made of "BRIGGFLATTS" in 1967 and a DVD of Peter Bell's 1982 film portrait of Bunting. As well as his own notes to the poem, the book includes his seminal essay on sound and meaning in poetry, "The Poet's Point of View" (1966). All his poetry is available in "Complet Poems" (Bloodaxe Books, 2000).

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Author information

Basil Bunting is one of the most important British poets of the 20th century. Acknowledged since the 1930s as a major figure in Modernist poetry, first by Pound and Zukofsky and later by younger writers, the Northumbrian master poet had to wait over 30 years before his genius was finally recognised in Britain - in 1966, with the publication of BRIGGFLATTS, which Cyril Connolly called 'the finest long poem to have been published in England since T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets'. Born in Northumberland in 1900, Bunting lived in Paris in the 20s, where Ezra Pound rescued him from jail and fixed him up with a job on the Transatlantic Review. He later followed Pound to Italy - giving up his job to Hemingway - where Yeats knew him as 'one of Pound's more savage disciples'. For the next 30 years he led a sometimes wild and always varied life - in Italy, England, Berlin, Tenerife, America and Persia - as a struggling, penniless writer, a music critic, sea captain, RAF officer, Times correspondent and Chief of Political Intelligence in Tehran. During these years he built up a reputation in America as the best English poet of his generation, at the same time as his poetry was neglected in Britain. In 1954 he returned to Northumberland, and worked for several years as a sub-editor on the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. It was not until the publication of BRIGGFLATTS that his genius was finally recognised. He died in 1985. COMPLETE POEMS (2000) was reissued by Bloodaxe for Bunting's centenary and includes his original Collected Poems alongside the posthumous Uncollected Poems. It also contains a new introduction by Richard Caddel. A companion double-cassette recording of his own reading of his poems, BASIL BUNTING READS BRIGGFLATTS & OTHER POEMS, was also published by Bloodaxe at the same time. A new Bloodaxe edition of BRIGGFLATTS (June 2009) includes a CD with an audio recording Bunting made of Briggflatts in 1967 and a DVD of Peter Bell's 1982 film portrait of Bunting.