Saturday, September 26, 2009

Virgil's Bees: Carol Ann Duffy


In support of the 10:10 campaign to reduce carbon emissions, Carol Ann Duffy (UK poet laureate) wrote a poem Virgil's Bees printed by the Guardian.

Bless air's gift of sweetness, honey
from the bees, inspired by clover,
marigold, eucalyptus, thyme,
the hundred perfumes of the wind.
Bless the beekeeper

who chooses for her hives
a site near water, violet beds, no yew,
no echo. Let the light lilt, leak, green
or gold, pigment for queens,
and joy be inexplicable but there
in harmony of willowherb and stream,
of summer heat and breeze,
each bee's body
at its brilliant flower, lover-stunned,
strumming on fragrance, smitten.

For this,
let gardens grow, where beelines end,
sighing in roses, saffron blooms, buddleia;
where bees pray on their knees, sing, praise
in pear trees, plum trees; bees
are the batteries of orchards, gardens, guard them.

The picture is a lime tree (I think) taken at a Kent farm this July. To take this picture is to hear thousands of bees swarming and buzzing around and on it...

Here's a link to The Georgics Book 4.

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