Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bee-loud glade

Today, I spent a few wonderful hours with my friend Kathy who has recently become a bee keeper. Her land is a-buzz - both with bees and with blooms. Happy bees, happy blooms.  I brought with me Carol Ann Duffy's volume of wondrous poetry entitled The Bees.  I discovered Duffy while living in Ireland - she was being interviewed on the radio and she read a few poems. I was hooked.   I read very, very little poetry written after 1950. I think many "poets" think that writing prose in short lines is the same as writing poetry.  Wrong, very wrong.  Each word should be thoughtfully, consciously formed and perfect in its relationship one to the other. And the words should render not only meaning and imagery but we need to smell them, touch them and hear them - let them buzz among the blooms.

Virgils' Bees

Bless air's gift of sweetness, honey
from the bees, inspired by clover,
marigold, eucalyptus, thyme,
the hundred perfumes of the wind.
Bless the beekeeper

                              who chooses for her hives
a site near water, violet beds, no yew,
no echo. Let the light lilt, leak, green
or gold, pigment for queens,
and joy be inexplicable but there
in harmony of willowherb and stream,
of summer heat and breeze, 

                                         each bee's body
at its brilliant flower, lover-stunned,
strumming on fragrance, smitten.

                                                 For this,
let gardens grow, where beelines end,
sighing in roses, saffron blooms, buddleia;
where bees pray on their knees, sing, praise
in pear trees, plum trees; bees
are the batteries of orchards, gardens, guard them.

Photograph © Denise Sallee 2013

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