Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy - review | Books

The Bees is Carol Ann Duffy's first new collection of poetry to be published since she was appointed our Poet Laureate in 2009, in succession to Andrew Motion. It's also her first since Rapture, the ecstatic sequence about the rise and fall of a lesbian love affair which won her the T S Eliot Prize in 2005.

The Bees is not so ruthlessly focused but it has nonetheless been artfully organised around the bee as a symbol, boasting a cover honeycombed in gilt around a glittery bee. The book begins and ends with specific poems about bees and there are others scattered here and there, such as, for example, a lovely riff on Book IV of the Georgics, Virgil's Bees, which she wrote in response to the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen. Throughout, bees stand for endangered nature - and they appear glancingly in the book in other poems, as do allusions to flowers, pollen and honey.

Full review The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy - review | Books