"What IS IT with poets and bees?"
The inspiration for my new blog's name comes from the essay "My Poet" by Naeem Murr, a fiction writer, published in Poetry magazine. I love this essay--probably because I am a poet and I want to feel romantically, tragically Misunderstood (note the capital "M"). I also used this as the companion handout for my graduate lecture at VCFA in 2008, which focused on poetry and love. (Spoiler: no conclusions were reached, but I guess that's why it was a thesis and not a dissertation.)
Anyway, my love for bees began early: I played one in the second-grade play. (My husband teases me that I was maybe the girl from the Blind Melon music video, and although I could never be mistaken for a little blonde waif with glasses, I was about the same age.) I began keeping honeybees, for real, the spring after my first child was born [there's some good planning for you...!]. What I love about beekeeping is that the bees already know what they're doing--as the "keeper" you just make it easier by tending to their environment. I've always thought that maybe the proper term should be more like "bee guardian," but no one consulted me when they named the practice. I adore beekeeping because it is one of those things that is just so unlike the rest of my exceeding verbal life. When I am working the hive, I am often not even thinking in words--just moving slowly [so as not to startle the bees] through habituated steps. Their buzzing--which, as soon as I crack open the hive, I can hear rise in a fourth above where it was before as approximately ten thousand bees ask each other, "what is happening?"--is something I feel in my body. It resonates in a way that breathing doesn't; I think because it is constant.
But this blog will not be exclusively about bees or poets. Like the Apis mellifera, I will gather thoughts from wherever they come--a literary cross-pollination, I hope. We'll see.
Thanks for stopping by.