[from Michael Schmidt's Lives of the Poets, 1998]
Legend has it that in his teens [Basil] Bunting, il miglior schoolboy, "edited down" Shakespeare's sonnets, rather as Pound was to do with Eliot's The Waste Land, hacking out superfluous words, adjusting sentence structure, finding an essential poem under the accretions of convention. The volume in which he performed this surgery no longer exists . . .