Thursday 4 July 2019

Review ~ Ten Poems about Bees from Candlestick Press

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to share this latest poetry pamphlet from
Candlestick Press

Candlestick Press
July 2019
Bees work hard, and there is something in their diligence that touches us. Most of us see only a fraction of their absorbing routines but their ‘bee-lines’ through our parks and gardens are more than enough to suggest their dedication:

“…they make a life for themselves that knows
no let-up through hours of exploration and return,
their thighs golden with pollen…”

from ‘Back they sputter’ by Eamon Grennan

Here are poems about getting stung and about a bee-keeping Divinity master in a boarding school whose hives are far more appealing than PE lessons. This heady mix of poems is sure to please anyone who delights in bees, flowers and gardens – or indeed the golden taste of honey!

The selection is introduced by environmentalist and broadcaster Brigit Strawbridge Howard.

Poems by Ciaran Berry, David Briggs, Miriam Darlington, Heid E. Erdrich, Eamon Grennan, Selima Hill, Carola Luther, Paula Meehan, Pascale Petit and Jean Toomer.

Cover illustration by Abby Cook.

What did I think about it...

There's something really special about watching bees meandering from flower to flower, collecting pollen as they go, and such is the power of their appeal, and indeed of their importance to our eco system, that they continue to fascinate and beguile us.

In this latest poetry pamphlet from Candlestick Press the humble bumble bee is the star of this collection of ten poems which give a varied interpretation of our fascination with the way bees open up and enrich our lives in so many different ways.

This poem, by Carola Luther perfectly captures the soporific nature of watching the lazy trail of a bee in high summer:

I watch the bees slow down the summer

"I watch the bees slow down in summer. Honeysuckle sink beneath their substance. Sunlit busbies stuffed with sleep and ochre powder making journeys, wavery, vague, full of remembered purpose..."

I have such admiration for beekeepers, and wherever possible buy local honey, so this lovely observational poem, Beekeeper, from Miriam Darlington pays tribute to all those intrepid bee keepers who work so tirelessly to protect this valuable species and bring us delicious honey.

" I know each one by heart
feel each hive beat with the need for air
crumple between sheets of cloud
like the rumble of an approaching storm..."

Ten Poems about Bees celebrates this enigmatic creature in unique way. Perusing this pamphlet is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon in the garden, with the gentle hum of bees to keep you company.

My thanks to ©Digital Images for my copy of this photograph

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Clouds, Walking, Birds, Home and Kindness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

Twitter @PoetryCandle

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