Basil Bunting

(1900-1985 / England)

Basil Bunting Quotes

  • ''To appreciate present conditions
    collate them with those of antiquity.''
    Basil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. Chomei at Toyama.
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  • ''I hate Science. It denies a man's responsibility for his own deeds, abolishes the brotherhood that springs from God's fatherhood. It is a hectoring, dictating expertise, which makes the least lovable of the Church Fathers seem liberal by contrast. It is far easier for a Hitler or a Stalin to find a mock- scientific excuse for persecution than it was for Dominic to find a mock-Christian one.''
    Basil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. letter, Jan. 1, 1947, to poet Louis Zukofsky. Quoted in The Poetry of Basil Bunting, ch. 6, by Victoria Forde (1991).
  • ''The mystic purchases a moment of exhilaration with a lifetime of confusion; and the confusion is infectious and destructive. It is confusing and destructive to try and explain anything in terms of anything else, poetry in terms of psychology.''
    Basil Bunting (1900-1985), British poet. letter, Sept. 1932, to poet Louis Zukofsky. Quoted in Victoria Forde, The Poetry of Basil Bunting, ch. 2 (1991).

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Chorus Of Furies

Guarda mi disse, le feroce Erine


Let us come upon him first as if in a dream,
anonymous triple presence,
memory made substance and tally of heart’s rot:
then in the waking Now be demonstrable, seem
sole aspect of being’s essence,
coffin to the living touch, self’s Iscariot.

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