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Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent selection, 30 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Complete Poems (Paperback)
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.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Nov 2009 11:40:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Nov 2009 11:45:39 GMT
A note from the editor of this edition....
"The title of the collection remains potentially misleading: an academically complete edition, which would contain all Bunting's fragments and variants, letter-poems, and poems of dubious ascription, must await another editor in an age when all the manuscript and typescript remains of Bunting have been docketed and indexed. As partial repayment of my own debt to Bunting, my task has been to maintain the shape of a book which is complete for readers of poetry".
Richard Caddel
Durham / August 1999

So it is really quite a stretch of the imagination to attack it for not being a 'complete' volume.
It has everything that a Bunting reader could want and only lacks those things from which academic pundits might fashion an article.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2009 10:58:20 GMT
'Everything a Bunting reader could want'? You could claim that of a 'selected' volume.

A Complete Poems is not the same as a best of, or even a Collected Poems. There is no stretch of the imagination required to think that the word complete should mean complete. It is consideraly less complete than the Ted Hughes or Robert Lowell collections I own, yet both of those are called 'Collected', as this volume should be.

This is a very, very good volume of poetry, that is not in question. But it isn't a complete collection, and to call it such is misleading, not 'potentially', but actually and straight forwardly.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2014 21:57:06 GMT
Phat Kat says:
Has it more poems than the Oxford Poets Complete, same editor? If so I'll be getting it; if not, not.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2014 10:25:02 GMT
If you're referring to the edition linked to below, then this Bloodaxe book is a more expansive edtion.

The Complete Poems (Oxford Poets)

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2014 10:29:40 GMT
And, whilst Briggflats is in this volume, I'd also recommend this following book/cd/dvd set as a worthwhile addition.

Briggflatts (with DVD & CD) (Book DVD & CD)

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2014 10:46:30 GMT
Phat Kat says:
Yes and thanks.
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