'Here are my bees,
brazen, blurs on paper,
besotted; buzzwords, dancing
their flawless, airy maps...'
...The Bees, a new collection from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, to be published on 7th October, but I just wanted to give you advance warning that this collection is everything and more, you might want to add it to your Christmas list and start dripping the hints in on a regular basis.
'The Bees is a work of great ecological and spiritual power, and Duffy's clearest affirmation yet of her belief in the poem as 'secular prayer, as the means by which we remind ourselves what is most worthy of our attention and concern, our passion and our praise.'
The book only arrived last weekend and I've spent much of the time since stroking the cover whilst stitching away at my Village Show quilt, so I've only had the briefest look at the poems knowing it can take me months, if not years,to fully appreciate a book of poetry, let alone a book of Carol Ann Duffy's, and given that The World's Wife continues to yield its secrets ten years on, and to a ten years older me.
This from the cover details has already hit home...
'...Duffy's point is clear: the bee symbolizes what we have left of grace in the world, and what is most precious and necessary for us to protect..'
And one poem has already stolen my heart, Last Post
'If poetry could tell it backwards..'
and Carol Ann Duffy does just that as she rewinds the tape for the soldiers of the Great War finally allowing the poet to
'tuck away his pocket-book and smile.'
The war poet spared the pain of bearing witness to the unsayable, of amplifying the truth lest we forget. It's much more subtle than I have made it sound, trust me.
So I know The Bees won't disappoint.
Well of course it won't... just look at it.
It's a thing of beauty, the colour of the cover fits right in with my favoured scheme and it's got a honey-coloured ribbon bookmark for goodness' sake, no book with a ribbon bookmark ever disappoints does it.
I can already feel a quilt coming on, hexagons everywhere... and a knitsuke bee of course.
'out of the silence I fancied I heard
the bronze buzz of a bee.'