Briggflatts : AND Other Poems

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Basil Bunting said: "Poetry is written to be heard and not to be read in silence." His own readings of his own work is useful for a full appreciation of his musical more

Product details

  • Audio cassette
  • 101.6 x 142.2 x 17.8mm | 113.4g
  • Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
  • 185224528X
  • 9781852245283
  • 1,828,876

Review Text

For lovers of poetry these readings by Basil Bunting of his own poetry are a treat. As the poet said himself, 'Poetry, like music, is to be heard. It deals in sounds, heavy beats and light beats, the tone relations of vowels, the relations of consonants to one another... Reading in silence is the source of half the misconceptions that have caused the public to distrust poetry.' So it is appropriate that these recordings were published in the year 2000 to celebrate the Northumbrian poet's centenary. Most of the first tape is taking up by a 1960s studio recording of Bunting reading his best known work, Briggflatts. His accent and voice give an added dimension to this modernistic celebration of the poet's northern roots, which has been compared by critics to the longer poems of T S Eliot. In addition to Briggflatts, on the first tape there are further studio recordings of Bunting reading selected Odes which are here made publicly available for the first time. The second tape contains live recordings of readings by the poet, one from 1977 and the other from 1979. They include the longer poems Villion and The Spoils, plus selected Odes and Overdrafts, as Bunting termed them. His approach to poetry brings together the modernism he shared with friends and contemporaries, Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky, and the oral traditions he grew up with. This mixture makes his poetry as strange and wonderful as the life he led. Bunting's vigorous readings are a treasure to be visited again and again. (Kirkus UK)show more

Table of contents

TAPE 1: STUDIO SET TAPE 1 SIDE A 1. Briggflatts 59-74 Parts I, II & III RUNNING TIME: 30.04 TAPE 1 SIDE B 2. Briggflatts 75-81 continued: Parts IV, V & coda 3. Selected Odes 'Dear be still' (I:9) 105 'Narciss, my numerous cancellations prefer' (I:11) 107 'An arles, an arles for my hiring' (I:12) 108 'On the Fly-Leaf of Pound's Cantos' (I:37) 132 'Mesh cast for mackerel' (I:22) 119 'The soil sandy and the plow light' (I:31) 126 'Let them remember Samangan' (I:32) 127 'These tracings from a world that's dead' (I:34) 129 'Stones trip Coquet burn' (II:10) 144 RUNNING TIME: 29.32 Italicised numbers above are the page numbers of the poems in Complete Poems by Basil Bunting (Bloodaxe Books, 2000). Those in brackets are the poem numbers in his two Books of Odes. TAPE 2: LIVE SET TAPE 2 SIDE A 4. Selected Odes & Overdrafts 'Now we've no hope of going back' (II:12) 146 'You can't grip years, Posthume' (Overdrafts) 161 'Snow's on the fellside' (Overdrafts) 221 'A thrush in the syringa sings' (II:1) 135 'O, it is godlike to sit selfpossessed' (II:7) 141 'You idiot' (II:4) 138 'All the cants they peddle' (II:9) 143 'Stones trip Coquet burn' (II:10) 144 'Carmencita's tawny paps' (II:8) 142 'Southwind, tell her what' (I:29) 124 'You leave' (I:28) 123 'Two hundred and seven paces' (I:26) 122 'At Briggflatts meetinghouse' (II:11) 145 What the Chairman told Tom (II:6) 140 RUNNING TIME: 27.07 TAPE 2 SIDE B 5. Villon 25-29 6. The Spoils 47-58 RUNNING TIME: 34.22 THE RECORDINGS 1-2. Briggflatts This is the earliest studio recording of Briggflatts (without the accompaniment of Scarlatti sonatas on harpsichord). Made in 1967 at the home of Stuart and Deirdre Montgomery, Southampton Row, London, it was recorded by John Cassidy and produced for Stream Records on an LP record by Fred Hunter. It was reissued on cassette by Keele University in 1988. 3. Selected Odes From a series of recordings made by Bunting of his own poems and the work of other poets under the editorship of R.K.R. Thornton at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1974. This selection from the Newcastle recordings has its first public airing on this cassette. 4. Selected Odes & Overdrafts Keats' House, London, 1979: the complete reading. 5. Villon & 6. The Spoils The Air Gallery, London, spring 1977: from a longer reading recorded by Tom Pickard. All the recordings except the Newcastle one are selected from the eight-cassette edition of readings, lectures and interviews (1967-1984), The Recordings of Basil Bunting, published by Keele University in 1995. Details are available from Richard Swigg, English Department, Keele University ST5 5BG (E-MAIL: Recordings 4, 5 & 6 are reproduced with the permission of the Poetry/Rare Books Collection, University Libraries, State University of New York at more