Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reading poetry: The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

I've been reading Duffy's latest collection The Bees since last summer, finally reached the final poem today, and of course, now finding it a challenge to recall my thoughts on all the others, even though I made notes on each one! So this is an overall impression, and perhaps a wake up call that to get the sense of a poetry collection its necessary to read the poems in a relatively short time. I do that for long prose but not too much for poetry ... and that's worth thinking about!

Anyway, back to The Bees. This is a lovely book, great cover, great feel and I liked the pattern of the poems overall. Self evidently there are poems about bees, and most of these are on my list of favourites, ones I'm now reading again, Telling the Bees and The Bee Carol to name but two. There are also some powerful poems about death, loss, politics and to use a cliche 'the human condition': Spell, Gesture and Premonition shine out.

As always I was puzzled by a few, and inspired by Duffy's craft -sometimes all she needs is a list and that's a lesson we can all learn from.

Back to my notebook now where the first draft of what might be my next poem has been resting. Noting what I have just written, this one started with a list, of the sounds that accompanied my breakfast coffee on the terrace (yes, its sunny again & warm) ... poignantly I started to write after hearing T's whistle for Crumble, who still has not returned home. Perhaps today, perhaps that whistle reached her silky ears,  perhaps tomorrow.

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