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The Bees [Download] ➻ The Bees Author Carol Ann Duffy – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk A winner of the Costa Book Award The Bees is Carol Ann Duffy’s first collection of new poems as British poet laureate and the much anticipated successor to the T S Eliot Prize–winning Rapture Aft A winner of the Costa Book Award The Bees is Carol Ann Duffy’s first collection of new poems as British poet laureate and the much anticipated successor to the T S Eliot Prize–winning Rapture After the intimate focus of the earlier book The Bees finds Duffy using her full poetic range there are drinking songs love poems poems to the weather and poems of political anger There are elegies too for beloved friends and—most movingly—for the poet’s mother As Duffy’s voice rises in this collection her music intensifies and every poem patterns itself into song     Woven into and weaving through the book is its presiding spirit the bee Sometimes the bee is Duffy’s subject sometimes it strays into the poem or hovers at its edge—and the reader soon begins to anticipate its appearance In the end 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 The Bees is Duffy’s clearest affirmation yet of her belief in the poem as “secular prayer” as the means by which we remind ourselves of what is most worthy of our attention and concern our passion and our praise.

About the Author: Carol Ann Duffy

Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE FRSL is a Scottish poet and playwright She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University and was appointed Britain's Poet Laureate in May She is the first woman the first Scot and the first openly LGBT person to hold the positionHer collections include Standing Female Nude winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; Selling Manh.

10 thoughts on “The Bees

  1. James Murphy James Murphy says:

    Emily Dickinson understood the importance of bees She begins a poem To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee Another poem venerates the bee as part of a numinous trinityIn the name of the Bee And of the the Butterfly And of the Breeze AmenDickinson thought bees lived irresponsible and adventurous livesCarol Ann Duffy also understands the importance of bees but the cover notes of this emotion laden volume tells us that for her they carry all the grace of the world Bees do have roles in the poems here sometimes they dart through a poem like a thought and sometimes as in poems specifically about bees they have a heavy lumbering presence However most of the poems are not about bees unless they also have a hand in love and death Duffy's 2 great subjects Homage is paid to people lost to the poet her swollen heart turned over to the reader In fact my favorite of the collection is called The Dead The love poems also expose her As always they voice the hook in one's perception of the world though she is careful to write nothing and no one is wrongI consider myself fortunate to have come across Carol Ann Duffy a number of years ago and tagged her as someone I want to read I've learned that to read her poetry is to consistently find intelligence woven with humor powerful purpose given to us as art It's no different with this volume Duffy instructs us she confesses and she reminds us the meadow may have some corners untouched by the sun Then she'll lighten the load by sending in her muse the bee She'll get our attention with a line as sharp as a bell Out of the silence I fancied I heard the bronze buzz of a bee And so that we remember the grace still abundant in the world she'll delight us with her own bee hymnBeen deep my poet beesin the parts of flowersin daffodil thistle rose eventhe golden lotus; so glidegilded glad golden thus wise and know of ushow your scent pervadesmy shadowed busy heart and honey is art

  2. Deborah Pickstone Deborah Pickstone says:

    This surprised me I think I expected bland but it isn't And what is one supposed to expect from a Poet Laureate who embodies so many 'firsts? I find it witty clever and feminine which I am sure I am not meant to see but well she is a woman Beautiful language choices and actual rhythm it spoke of England though she isn't 'English'I particularly liked 'Premonitions' having spent a lot of years caring for the dying and their intimates I liked echoes of other poets especially the last line of 'Passing Bells''The old familiar clanking cow bells of the cattle'And also 'Ariel'there were many referenced Shakespeare linesOn political themes 'Big Ask' repeated my anger my disgust at the lies told about Ira'The WMDyou found the stash? Well maybe not in Ira'Now I want to read of her poetry as this was a first exposure for me Not perfect but a real attempt to do the job of a Poet Laureate but yet not to lose her own voice The fit within the job can only get better with familiarity

  3. Alice (Married To Books) Alice (Married To Books) says:

    I listened to this on audiobook via my local library's serviceI'm always looking for new poetry to read so when I saw The Bees I decided to give Carol's writing a try Don't be fooled by the title there's a diverse range of topics included in the collection such as recollections of WW1 Carol narrated herself which for the majority of the listen I did enjoy However there was some disconnect which I do put down to not reading the physical book uick interesting I look forward to giving poems a try

  4. Paul Paul says:

    I have heard of Carol Ann Duffy as Poet Laureate she is probably the highest profile poet in the UK at the moment But until now have never read a single poem of hers so was looking forward to thisThe Bees is not a collection of poems just about the small insect but the bee features in some of the poems or merely brushes by the poem Her subjects are diverse in this collection from the First World war to Oxfam and as diverse as the hive to snow with several about the beesOne thing that impresses me about Duffy is her mastery of the English language With startling brevity she is able to reach out to your soul and grasp it very firmly and carry you along by the emotion of the prose Very good will be looking for of her collections

  5. Jason Jason says:

    This book has been on my book radar or bookdar for a while now and for a couple of reasons it is about Bees which are awesome and it is by a Poet Laureate I haven't read yet I saw this for sale and it's cover really catches your eye so had to buy it Not all the poems are about bees at first I thought that was a bit of a cop out but soon realised a book of poems on one subject would be pretty dull instead Carol Ann Duffy has weaved in a number of bee related poems in with her other writingsThe book has been split into four sections I'm not sure if this is correct or not but they feel a bit like seasonsbut I could be way off with that The non bee poems were really good far political that I was expecting her opinions on war and the destruction of rainforest will probably have rubbed some people the wrong way and because of that they stand out The three highlights for me were Scheherazade almost a review of 1001 Arabian nights Parliament a haunting poem about the destruction of forest and my favourite Drams these are little snippets you can enjoy between drams of whiskeyA nice collection that will sit nicely on my bookshelfBlog review is here

  6. Amy Norris Amy Norris says:

    bees are the batteries of orchards gardens guard them I was lucky enough to hear Carol Ann Duffy do a reading of her works at the Sydney Writers Festival last year She read out several poems from this collection The Bees I cannot even describe the awe I was in at hearing her words Not only is Duffy an immensely talented poet the way she reads her work is amazing Her annunciation emphasis on words rhythm beat and even hand gestures take her work to another level There is a reason she is the Poet Laureate She is genius Naturally I was immediately drawn to pick up this collection It covers a wide range of topics including war death love nature and politics Of course there is a recurring motif of bees As with all of Duffy’s work this was a pleasure to read and left me stunned at her raw talent I found myself re reading lines over and over just because they were so beautiful and I loved the sound and flow of the sentences I definitely see myself picking this up every now and then simply to experience the beauty of her words

  7. Alice Lippart Alice Lippart says:

    A bit of a mixed bag but overall uite good Best read aloud

  8. Jon Corelis Jon Corelis says:

    Good but not good enoughThe trouble with being a poet laureate is being a poet laureate you have to be representative of all the race meaning both of your country and of its tribe of poets But if you must speak for the nation how can you speak for yourself? I think that Carol Anne Duffy’s poetry collection The Bees must be interpreted in this context The task facing any established mainstream English language poetry today and that is the type of poetry I should be understood to be talking about in the rest of this review is to juggle 1 mandatory social and political attitudes with 2 a mastery of the accepted creating writing program techniues for writing verse and 3 a style sufficiently different from everyone else’s that reviewers or the ones that count basically meaning other college teachers will be able to find something to say about it If you manage to pull this off your efforts will be crowned with the successes of publication in the right places workshop and faculty appointments creative writing grants and literary prizes even up to laureateships Pulitzers and NobelsBut uneasy lies the head that wears a literary crown and this collection evinces the unease which comes from what must be a very weighty crown indeed The book obviously takes seriously a duty to speak for the nation attempting in its short span to give something of a synthesis of British culture both popular and literary Thus we find specific allusions to Wordsworth Shakespeare and other great poets as well as less direct stylistic reminiscences I express no opinion on whether these are consciously deliberate of others such as this seeming echo of Shelley in Invisible Ink vast same poem for all to writecf Shelley’s “that great Poem which all poets like the co operating thoughts of one great mind have built up since the beginning of the world”Or this from Drams suggesting Sorley MacLean In Glen Strathfarrar a stag dips to the river where rainclouds gatherOr the Dylan Thomas like imagery in The English Elms of Others stood on the edge of farms twinned with the shapes of clouds like green rhymes; Or the Bee Carol reminiscent of Thomas Hardy’s famous The Oxen substituting in line with the book’s major motif bees Come with me on Christmas Eve to see on the silent hive –And ubiuitous Shakespearean echoesHistorical and social dimensions are provided by poems on WWI and the Spanish Civil War settings in various British towns and the appearance of famous and obscure figures from the past Dorothy Wordsworth Luke Howard Simon Powell Interleaved with these literary and historical allusions are references to popular British culture soccer drinking malt whiskey ale pub names county names In short there is clearly an attempt here to create a poetic mosaic of national life a project appropriate to a poet laureate and an ambitious one for a book of less than ninety pages Unity and structure are attempted by dividing the book into four general sections this sort of high level division into a small number of segments seems to have become standard for poetry collections and by weaving through them a number of poems on bees These attempts seemed to me unsatisfactory it was hard for me to see how each section fitted inside its box or how the bee poems either unified or developed the trend of the book as a whole Individually the poems typically exhibit a high degree of rhetorical control formal unity and stylistic sophistication and to a great extent eschew sentimentality making for instance the highly praised poem titled Cold as unconsoling a vision of death as Wallace Stevens’ The Emperor of Ice Cream though Duffy’s poem lacks the loony surrealism which gives Stevens’ piece its indelible sting There are though some lapses into the sentimental for instance in Music Do you think music hath charms? Do you think it h ears and heals our hearts?And someone should have blue pencilled the clichéd diction in Snow the beautiful snow holds the land in its fierce embraceThat is almost as bad as “It was a dark and stormy night”The poems tend to employ a great deal of sound play line end and internal full and half rhyme assonance and alliteration even in Passing Bells that regrettably neglected techniue onomatopoeia The old familiar clanking cow bells of the cattleMaybe not as finely pitched as “The moan of doves in immemorial elms And murmuring of innumerable bees” but at least it tries At any rate though some readers may find the sound patterns become jingly I can only approve of attempts to re introduce unabashed sound play into a verse tradition which has become aurally considered almost aggressively drabAnyone who has bothered to read this review this far is likely to have noticed a certain grudgingness in the approval I’ve expressed of this work I think this is largely because despite their impressive techniue I found that these poems rarely succeed in evading a certain underlying or at times overt academic or political tendentiousness Too often they seem to be saying either “Here’s how to write a poem” or “See? Poetry can too still be relevant” And what’s wrong with that? Keats remarks in his letters that “we hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us” a remark I think can be clarified by his further contention that “poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts and appear almost as a remembrance” The conseuence of these principles if I understand them is that to the extent that a poem has an agenda it fails It’s like trying to convince someone they should love you if they need to be convinced they aren’t going to be And that’s one reason why I give this book three stars it’s skilled but the skill can’t disguise the agendasTo sum up another metapoetical uote Ezra Pound says somewhere that Horace will give you all of it except what’s essential I think I know what he meant he saw in Horace the highest degree of technical mastery in the service of convention rather than inspiration Though I’ve come and to doubt that Pound was right about Horace I feel something like that about this collection I must admit that it seems to me to represent our current poetry at its best But it does nothing to lessen my impression that even at its best our current poetry isn’t very good

  9. Amy (libraryofamy) Amy (libraryofamy) says:

    I didn't love this as much as The World's Wife but I still really enjoyed this collectionThe first two ish sections had some poems that weren't very impactful for me But the last two sections had consistently great poems that I loved I love Carol Ann Duffy's work so much

  10. Inside A Dog Inside A Dog says:

    I found this collection a bit of a bumpy ride if I'm honest References to bees are not surprisingly dispersed through the book and there is a poem The Bees which opens the collection and in a way that poem summed up my overall impression of the whole collectionThere are moments here that I thought were absolutely magnificent I've little to no technical understanding but it seems to me that when she is on her game Carol Ann Duffy is an absolute master of her craft The poem The Bees felt like a short introduction to the buzzing words to come and to the way the words had almost been drawn nectar like from somewhere within the poet's soul to be transported to the page And there's a real feel of the hither and thither about those first two verses they crackle with energy and vitality What I loved about them was the way they appeared almost like random buzz words and phrases on first read but on subseuent reads they feel like there's a purpose and structure and destination to all their movement and twists and activity It was a great start but the third and final verse somehow meandered and ran out of steam a bit and that feeling pervaded throughout the collection for me The last line of the poem The Bees in particular just left me feeling a bit flat and let down It ends with the line and honey is art It just didn't live up to the court and spark of what had gone before all that noise and shape petering out in what felt to me like a bit of a clichéHowever having said that it's a bumpy ride it's also a ride with some colossal highs There are a several poems that I loved particularly those where where Carol Ann Duffy is sort of unravelling time and perspective and telling something backwards The brilliant The Last Post takes a couple of Wilfred Owen lines and then explicitly tries to unravel the tragedy of war It's absolutely gut wrenching to read because it sort of draws out the hope and promise that there might have been and yet we know wasn't to be for so many millions She does the same sort of retrospective unravelling for a poem New Vows which essentially undoes the marriage vow and it does it superblyThere are also poems where there is a real anger and ferocity to some of her words and politics is often at the end of the sharpest parts of her tongue But she does these sorts of poems really well for me They are never slogans but brilliantly sometimes beautifully crafted I read this collection while the controversial Leveson enuiry was bubbling to the surface and it seemed so apt Beyond the politics and commentary on what's around her there are a couple of clever poems which really show off her talent One is a fabulous pub crawl and pub name check from John Barleycorn She essentially uses pub names to craft the poem it's really clever and it works wonderfully I'm also seriously impressed by how many different pub names she fits in I can't help wondering if she knows them all as drinking places if she does then she is clearly a lover of pubsBut the best poem in the collection for me is Water It's a whispered and somehow haunting description linked to the death bed reuest for water from someone dying in a hospice having read a bit since it is in fact about the death of her own mother It's sad and beautiful and yet somehow it celebrates the love of a parent and a child by noting the simple resonance between that dying reuest at the end of her mothers life to earlier times when her mother would have been answering that self same reuest from Carol Ann Duffy as a child It was one of those poems that I know will stay with me and it's destined to be one of those I learn off by heart I thinkThere are many poems in the collection that I really liked and enjoyed reading And while overall I found it a bit of a mixed bag I'd still recommend it to anyone considering reading it While Water is the poem I liked best perhaps the most stunning lines are in Cold another poem about the death of her mother It ends with the most heart bursting three lines I wept on reading them They are beautiful but there's almost a brutality to their beauty They rip your chest open and wrap a fist round your heart and then sueeze Powerful wonderful stuff and for that reason and many others this collection is well worth reading

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