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Briggflatts (Book, DVD & CD)
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Briggflatts (Book, DVD & CD)

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published June 10th 2009 by Bloodaxe Books (first published November 1st 1967)
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Liam Guilar
We could argue that this is THE poem of the twentieth century?
But that would be silly.
This is a beautiful edition. Though the poem is in the equally portable, equally fine collected from Blood Axe the essays, notes and pictures are worth having, but most of all the DVD is a little bit of unexpected magic. It harks back to those quaint old days when documentary film makers actually assumed their audience had an attention span and intelligence, and if they just pointed the camera at the subject an
Jan 20, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. I can't believe that I've only now got around to reading Briggflatts. One of the greatest of twentieth century poems produced in a wonderful edition by Bloodaxe with a CD of Buntinq reading the poem, and a DVD of a 1980s documentary about the man and his work. The CD in particular is worth the price of the book, as to hear the poem read in the poet's rich Northumbrian voice brings to life its angular rhythms and cadences. As Bunting says, 'poetry, like music, is to be heard'. ...more
Willow L
Jun 28, 2015 Willow L rated it it was amazing
I found it difficult to really get the poem until I heard it read by Bunting himself, in his wonderful accent and measured intonation. The documentary on the DVD here is absolutely brilliant- unfortunately it cut out 20 minutes to the end so I didn't see it all. images and music (domenico scarlatti) to match the poem helped me get into it too. I might make a trip to brigflatts to read it there. some quite amazing imagery here. imagine a black bull being a tenor descant to a river which is a ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing
It is a pleasure to hear Bunting reading his work. After hearing the CD, I had to fight the urge to roll my "R's" for the rest of the day...
Cooper Renner
Aug 15, 2016 Cooper Renner rated it really liked it
Includes interesting critical material in addition to the text of the poem--a brief biography, lots of photos, comments from Bunting, etc.
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The language just washes over you.
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Shelves: your, library, poetry
Enjoyed it, but having left this review for a couple of weeks, I'm concerned by how little I remember. Very modernist, if I recall correctly, with some wonderful pastoral imagery... That's about all that stuck with me.
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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 ...more
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“The mason stirs.
Pens are too light.
Take a chisel to write.”
“It tastes good, garlic and salt in it,
with the half-sweet white wine of Orvieto
on scanty grass under great trees
where the ramparts cuddle Lucca.

It sounds right, spoken on the ridge
between marine olives and hillside
blue figs, under the breeze fresh
with pollen of Apennine sage.

It feels soft, weed thick in the cave
and the smooth wet riddance of Antonietta’s
bathing suit, mouth ajar for
submarine Amalfitan kisses.

It looks well on the page, but never
well enough. Something is lost
when wind, sun, sea upbraid
justly an unconvinced deserter.”
More quotes…