The Bees

by Carol Ann Duffy (Picador) ISBN 9780330442459


British poet Carol Ann Duffy, winner of the Costa Prize for poetry 2011, has produced a gem. There are no other words for it.


She knows how to capture rhythm (Echo). She has an eye for composition. Her poems are accessible. There is synchrony in the lightness and intensity of her poems. The Bees is delicate and hard hitting, poignant poetry.


Duffy deals with a variety of subjects in a broad cross section of life: grief over a mother’s death (Water), the life of a soldier told backwards (Last Post), the lament of the world’s suffering (Atlas) or a poem written for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (Rings).


And bees: weaved through all her poems is the spirit of the bees. They stray into a poem or hover at its edge. The bees are a metaphor for grace and for what is valuable and for what needs to be protected.


I can’t remember the last time that I was moved so much by poetry. Duffy’s poems have left me longing for more.


Pauline Vijverberg



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