Thursday, August 20, 2009
If you study to become a poet...
A Flag for Bunting
If you study to become a poet, study to be a Basil
Bunting: heckler of the vernacular (to no pay), last
real troubadour along any road you name—knocking
the door, a man of nations. Of all the Moderns he
was the only to wrestle Keats to the mat, nightingale
and all. If Briggflatts seems now keen to us as The
Waste Land and his Chomei at Toyama illustrated by
Hokusai, he would shrug that off as small potatoes,
a ruse of time. If we stayed heir, year by year, to
such lines as “I am agog for foam. Tumultuous come
/ with teeming sweetness to the bitter shore” . . .
no more. Study to be printed a ghost, those who hear
the Muses’ Siren song. There, Basil walks the wave.
-- Ronald Johnson
Via John Latta's superb blog; someday my edition of BB will emerge from Faber.
Photo by the late David James, via his son Jeremy's blog, Poet in a Lens.
Labels: Basil Bunting