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The Bees: Poems Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1ST edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865478856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865478855
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Wonderfully varied . . . [Some poems] will sting you to tears. The elegies for [her] much-missed mother are the most moving poems in the whole book. ‘Cold’ will stop your own heart for a moment. Duffy is brazen enough to write words such as ‘besotted,’ ‘smitten’ . . . and to bring it all off brilliantly.” —The Guardian

About the Author

Carol Ann Duffy was appointed British poet laureate in 2009. She lives in Manchester, where she is a professor and the creative director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jon Corelis on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The trouble with being a poet laureate is being a poet laureate: you have to be representative of all the race, meaning both of your country and of its tribe of poets. But if you must speak for the nation, how can you speak for yourself?

I think that Carol Anne Duffy's poetry collection The Bees must be interpreted in this context. The task facing any established mainstream English language poetry today (and that is the type of poetry I should be understood to be talking about in the rest of this review) is to juggle 1) mandatory social and political attitudes with 2) a mastery of the accepted creating writing program techniques for writing verse and 3) a style sufficiently different from everyone else's that reviewers (or the ones that count, basically meaning other college teachers) will be able to find something to say about it. If you manage to pull this off, your efforts will be crowned with the successes of publication in the right places, workshop and faculty appointments, creative writing grants, and literary prizes, even up to laureateships, Pulitzers, and Nobels.

But uneasy lies the head that wears a literary crown, and this collection evinces the unease which comes from what must be a very weighty crown indeed. The book obviously takes seriously a duty to speak for the nation, attempting in its short span to give something of a synthesis of British culture, both popular and literary. Thus we find specific allusions to Wordsworth, Shakespeare, and other great poets, as well as less direct stylistic reminiscences (I express no opinion on whether these are consciously deliberate) of others, such as this seeming echo of Shelley in Invisible Ink:

... vast same poem
for all to write.

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