on 30 June 2009
Well, first things first, this is one book that does not do what it says on the tin. This isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, a 'complete' volume. At most it's a collected. Bunting was a notoriously harsh critic of his own work. Whilst this volume is significantly larger than the 'complete' that Bunting edited, it is still only 244 pages.
So, having got that out of the way, why five stars?
Because BB was one of the most interesting, rewarding, funny, poignant, cutting, accessible and all round enjoyable poets to emerge from the ferment of the 1930s.
Yes, of course Briggflatts is here, and it is magnificent. But there is a lot else which lies in its shadow. Try "What the Chairman Told Tom" which is just very, very funny, or the beauty of "I Am Agog for Foam".
There is so much to savour in this volume.
But that still doesn't make it complete.
on 5 May 2016
Briggflats, need I say more? I do wish I'd bought a copy with a cd/dvd (when I got mine there was one that had these available, may have been a different book though), because there is nothing better than listening to Basil Bunting recite his poetry. Somehow, and this is only a personal opinion, you don't get the same feel for his words when reading as opposed to listening. But, there is a website you can visit where he is reciting Briggflats. I definitely recommend that as a companion to reading.