Harvard’s Bestiary


Blessed are the birchmarked trees and pilchard burn,
the brought-out batteries of packed sardines and mellow tails –
the beekeepers net, soft and wild. Linen, muslin; fabric-genius.

                                                                  The holders of honey.
The bees sough, graze flower tongues and meet their Queen,
clandestine sorceress in jail-break colour.
Take chance and mount the hill beside, the lofty light,
and watch as pen to diary makes: to tell what of leaves,
a brier of twigs and fox-foot-fossils left in mud.

© Eve Redwater 2012


[Hello everyone! I've written this poem as a kind of addendum to The Bees - a poetic partnership of sorts. This week has been eaten up by my dissertation, phew - I've got some catching up to do!]

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30 thoughts on “Harvard’s Bestiary

  1. Eve, surely you must have been reading Gerard Manley Hopkins! I mentioned once before how you reminded me of him, and your rhythms have begun to resemble his “sprung rhythm” more and more! A principal difference is that he employs rhyme and you rarely do, or else yours is internal. “Harvard Bestiary” particularly reminded me of “Pied Beauty”: “Glory be to God for dappled things / For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow / For rose moles all in stipple upon trout that swim / Fresh fire-coal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings … ”
    “Harvard Bestiary” is terrific, in my opinion!

    • Hello Lorinda, thank you for visiting as always! :) I’ve read a little of his, but, as I’ve mentioned below, I’m still not that familiar with his work! I really need to get on to that! x

  2. i reminisced The Bees in your very first line…”blessed are the birchmarked trees and pilchard burn,” a lovely amendment. full of the same kind of life bees are full of.

  3. Eve, if you are working on a dissertation and still writing poetry of this quality, then I shall bow low to the ground and say that you are a young woman who is amazing. The start of this
    Blessed are the birchmarked trees and pilchard burn,
    the brought-out batteries of packed…
    with its alliteration is simply wonderful. And it keeps going, building the image of the bees and their queen, “clandestine sorceress in jail-break colour,” the keeps the quality of the poem original and striking.
    You are quite a poet.

    • Thank you so much! I know that I’ve slacked in my poetry writing these past couple of weeks, but I’m doing my best to find a balance between this and my work! Phew… :) x

  4. This is really lovely, Eve. I love that Lorinda pointed to Gerard Manley Hopkins! I, too, hear him in the cadence of your own very unique poetry. You have a very clear voice that smiles throughout this piece. I loved it! I’ve been watching the bees in my spring yard–loved the “jail-break colour.” Brilliant! I’m appreciative of the fact that you’re in an academic program requiring so much focus…I hope you are making good progress! Debra

    • Hi Debra, thank you! I’m not that well versed in Hopkins, but I intend to rectify that in the near future. :) The dissertation is plodding along, I’ll be glad when it’s done and I can move on to other academic ventures! x

  5. Your blossom picture accompanying your poem really sets off the season and somehow the words. I like both a lot – it seems fitting that the spring sunshine is on my back as I type this too.

  6. I like the combination of Harvard with Bestiary, there is such a proper connotation with Harvard and quite the opposite connotation with bestiary…I enjoyed this mix all the way through.

    • Thank you Russell! I think that picture will be used as part of my graduation… lets just hope the University doesn’t plaster it on the big screen we have outside the Student Union! :P

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