The opening passages of the section caricature greedy, powerful people who obstruct creativity and make life a literal shitty nightmare. Paralleling this episode, Bunting nods in the final lines of the section at the Ancient Greek myth of Pasiphae, who gave birth to the Minotaur after an encounter with a bull sent by the sea-god Poseidon note the subject rhyme with the bull at the start of the poem.
Here the social backdrop is inescapable. In Bunting was sought out in retirement in rural Northumberland by Tom Pickard, a local working-class writer enthused by certain neo-modernist currents in post-war verse—the Black Mountain School, Ginsberg and the Beats, the new lyric culture of jazz and pop music.
Diction is secondary to rhythm. Life includes splendour but is not sustainedly splendid.KJV 9 The stone walls, oaken beams, and rafters of the meeting house the oldest in northern England is a shelter for prayer for the time being. Richard Burton points to a copy of the longer, autobiographical poem Briggflatts that the meeting house possesses inscribed by the poet with the words, "I hope this book may have leave to lie quietly in the meeting house where I worshipped as a boy and again when I grew old". One of the ragtime army, involuntary volunteer, queued up for the pox in Rouen. Nevertheless, Bunting intended it to be the climax of the narrative. Deeper history also comes to the surface with the first, brief appearance of the Viking warrior and sometime ruler of Northumbria Eric Bloodaxe, killed in battle on Stainmore around AD. The opening passages of the section caricature greedy, powerful people who obstruct creativity and make life a literal shitty nightmare. However, there is still the nagging sense of tragedy that has persisted throughout Briggflatts. Here the social backdrop is inescapable. Bunting is drawing a stark and dramatic contrast between the exuberant and outward glory of Catholicism and Anglicanism in their boasts and grand cathedrals that challenge the fate of all things to vanish in time in the permanence of hewn stone, and the humble meeting houses, their silence and a focus on inwardly spiritual prayer in Quaker practice. He trained to become a commercial sailor in , and in —Quaker principles notwithstanding—enlisted in the air force, serving as a squadron-leader in British-occupied Iran. What sort of personal history will Bunting depict? Whatever the cause, Bunting was not a functioning poet by the end of the s. Following his release from Winchester Prison in the summer of , Bunting enrolled at the London School of Economics, encouraged perhaps by its Fabian patrimony. What type of personal history does Flag depict?
At the time, their meetings were forbidden by the Conventicle Act The Navy will Make a Man of You. I got a lot of poetry written, enjoyed the conversation, enjoyed sailing my boat, enjoyed the sunshine.
There is a deliberate echo of rhyme in the assonance of oak and bones lines 5 6 ; and the visual rhyme of here and shelter lines 7 8 that contrasts with the direct rhymes of Wren and the suffix ment in monument lines 1 2 ; think and sink ll.
The second was smaller a mere 12 lines, tersely written titled "At Briggflatts Meetinghouse". According to Peter Quartermain, in "Basil Bunting: Poet of the North", Stubborn Poetries: Poetic Facticity and the Avant-Garde Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, : "…whatever is going on here, the immense concentration, the immense condensation which give rise to such apparently difficult syntax comes about for the sake of the sound.