Saturday, July 04, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Basil Bunting (1900 – 1985)

British modernist poet.
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Basil Bunting
He whom we anatomized
‘whose words we gathered as pleasant flowers
and thought on his wit and how neatly he described things’
to us, hatching marrow,
broody all night over the bones of a deadman.
Bunting quotes
Poetry? It's a hobby.
I run model trains.
Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons.
It's not work. You don't sweat.
Nobody pays for it.
You could advertise soap.
The Duke can get his rent
and we can get our ticket
twa pund emigrant
on a C.P.R. packet.

Bunting Basil quotes
Compose aloud: poetry is a sound.
Bunting Basil
Gin the goodwife stint
and the bairns hunger
the Duke can get his rent
one year longer.
Basil Bunting quotes
Mine was a threeplank bed whereon
I lay and cursed the weary sun.
They took away the prison clothes
and on the frosty nights I froze.
I had a Bible where I read
that Jesus came to raise the dead—
I kept myself from going mad
by singing an old bawdy ballad
and birds sang on my windowsill
and tortured me till I was ill
Basil Bunting
Remember, imbeciles and wits,
sots and ascetics, fair and foul,
young girls with little tender tits,
that DEATH is written over all.

Worn hides that scarcely clothe the soul
they are so rotten, old and thin,
or firm and soft and warm and full—
fellmonger Death gets every skin.
Bunting Basil quotes
Who says it's poetry, anyhow?
My ten year old
can do it and rhyme.
Mr Hines says so, and he's a schoolteacher,
he ought to know.
Go and find work
Never explain- your reader is as smart as you. Your reader is not just any reader, but is the rare one with ears in his head.
Bunting Basil
The sea has no renewal, no forgetting,
no variety of death,
is silent with the silence of a single note.
Basil Bunting
Then he saw his ghosts glitter with golden hands,
the Emperor sliding up and up from his tomb
alongside Charles. These things are not obliterate.
White gobs spitten for mockery;
and I too shall have CY GIST, written over me.

Basil Bunting quotes
All you can usually say about a poem or a picture is, 'Look at it, listen to it.' Whether you listen to a piece of music or a poem, or look at a picture or a jug or a piece of sculpture, what matters about it is not what it has in common with others of its kind, but what is singularly its own."
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