Coda

By Basil Bunting 1900–1985 Basil Bunting
A strong song tows
us, long earsick.
Blind, we follow
rain slant, spray flick
to fields we do not know.

Night, float us.
Offshore wind, shout,   
ask the sea
what’s lost, what’s left,   
what horn sunk,
what crown adrift.

Where we are who knows   
of kings who sup   
while day fails? Who,   
swinging his axe   
to fell kings, guesses   
where we go?

Basil Bunting, “Coda” from Complete Poems, edited by Richard Caddel. Reprinted with the permission of Bloodaxe Books Ltd., www.bloodaxebooks.com.

Source: Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1968)

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Poet Basil Bunting 1900–1985

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Activities, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Basil  Bunting

Biography

Basil Bunting was born in Scotswood-on-Tyne, Northumberland. Despite numerous years abroad in Italy, the Canary Islands, the United States, and current-day Iran, Bunting is known as a poet of Northern England and is closely associated with Northumberland, where he lived during the last years of his life. Bunting attended a Quaker school and was a conscientious objector during World War I. Arrested for his political views, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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