from Odes: 36 ["See! Their verses are laid"]

By Basil Bunting 1900–1985 Basil Bunting
See! Their verses are laid   
as mosaic gold to gold
gold to lapis lazuli
white marble to porphyry
stone shouldering stone, the dice   
polished alike, there is
no cement seen and no gap   
between stones as the frieze strides   
to the impending apse:   
the rays of many glories   
forced to its focus forming   
a glory neither of stone   
nor metal, neither of words   
nor verses, but of the light   
shining upon no substance;   
a glory not made
for which all else was made.

Basil Bunting, “36.” from Complete Poems, edited by Richard Caddel. Reprinted with the permission of Bloodaxe Books Ltd.,

Source: Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1968)

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Poet Basil Bunting 1900–1985



Subjects Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Basil  Bunting


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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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Poetry & Poets



Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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