A substantial portion of Bunting's poems circulated, unheeded, half a century ago. Yet, more than twenty-five years after the publication of his masterpiece Briggflatts, this is is the first critical study to show the view of writing that fused Bunting's intense concerns with music,painting, and Northern culture, and made him the central British poet of the post-war era. Peter Makin's lucid sequence of exposition leads from the more approachable data of Bunting's life and writings to their relations with form and finally theory. Of particular interest are chapters on the saints and warriors that occupy a central position in Briggflatts and on the forms of music andof Northumbrian painting and writing that help determine its structure. Bunting was both realist - his poetry was `about life' - and profoundly formalist. His arguments clash, and cannot be made to match up. Yet they demand examination, not only because they gave rise to his verse, but becausethey undercut some of the more dangerous critical tendencies of our day. This study reveals Bunting as a major figure both in the development of the modernist movement and of twentieth-century British poetry as a whole.