July 21, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Dear Bee"

The other day I deliberately and forcefully applied the sole of my slipper to a large ant in my kitchen. I found myself apologizing. I really would rather redirect little creatures back outside, but with ants, it's too daunting a mission.

I wondered what Emily Dickinson would have done. (This really didn't come out of the blue, I had recently watched the newly released DVD, A Quiet Passion.) The internet is wonderful and it allowed me to find her poems online and search for "ant" within the text. I have to assume that the negative result is because Miss Emily didn't write about ants. Probably because she'd dealt with them in the same manner as I did!

Of course I found a gazillion references to bees. So, I wrote this little ditty à la Emily Dickinson. It contains her beloved bee, and also, the neglected ant.

I hope it scans well for you. I tried singing the lines to both "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and the theme song to Gilligan's Island. It worked for me, but it might not work for you. (I wrote about singing Emily Dickinson poems here; also check out the comments for that post.)

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Text:

Dear Bee:

You and all your kindred folk
dwell in the world outside.
In the fields, among the oaks,
there's nought for you inside

My cluttered home, where you will see:
the gray of dust and grime.
Do not come in. Heed my plea,
or, be subject to my crime

Of expelling you. Whacking you.
Rendering you nonextant.
Warn all your friends! It's up to you!
My apologies to the ants.


Katie at The Logonauts is playing host to the Round-Up this week. Do stop by!

19 comments:

  1. I may have those tunes in my head all day! I love the violence of the word whack after the more gentle expell. It me it conveys a strong intent!

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    1. Sometimes you have to be a bit forceful in order to get beyond the feeling of guilt.

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  2. Sigh, yes! I have been rendering many such creatures "nonextant" on account of a faulty screen door. Love the determined energy in your "plea", Diane!

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    1. Thanks, Tara. Summers can be a real trial!

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  3. So, I sang it to The Gilligan's Island song, and it worked delightfully....and now I have that song on a loop in my head! ;-)

    I feel the same way about bugs - I try to save them when I can, but ants are just so darn persistent!!

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    1. I'm a big one for relocating spiders--let them do their work outside!

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  4. We have a few scurrying brown insects, rather large, that sadly run from light-hard to catch! They are still here! I sang through your ode to ants and Emily, Diane. Fun, though now that song is going to stay, with "apologies to the ants" too.

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    1. I'm not a big fan of rhyme, so singing helps me.

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  5. Oh, my gosh.....it's great! And....Yellow Road of Texas? Gilligan's Island? What's the tip there? Is that iambic pentameter or something? I need to know.
    Warn all your friends....oh, yes. Warn them.

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    1. I never got the hang of meter, so I rely on others to help me figure it out. Here's a discussion of Dickinson's use of meter: https://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/common.html. I think I'm trying to mimic her use of iambic heptameter and hexameter.

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  6. We once had a hive in the eaves of our home. Bees were getting in the house. As much as I hated to do it, we had to get the hive removed. As much as we love living with nature, I prefer for them to stay outside.

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    1. Spiders are forgivable in a house, but bees definitely don't belong there!

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  7. I think Emily would be pleased where her inspiration led. I do appreciate all those creatures, but much more so outside!

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    1. I'd like to think that about Emily!

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  8. "There's nought for you inside." :-) Ariana said this past week, she got many phone calls from friends about pestilence-related problems. Now that they have graduated from college and are busy "adulting," they are running across all manner of vermin (brown recluse, mice, and bedbugs). I think they wish there were some adultier-adults to deal with it!

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    1. Ha, ha! Been there, done that. When I graduated I moved into a 6th floor walk-up in the Bronx that came with a supply of Periplaneta americana. My "favorite" roach story is when I pulled a tissue out of a box and out popped a little guy.

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  9. I'm with you on the topic of ants. I do my best, however, to relocate other critters including spiders and those we "lovingly" call scooties: scutigera coleoptrata (house centipedes). It's better, as your poem recommends, that they all stay outside, though.

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  10. I love your poem and side note to the ant at the end. I have tiny little ants and I don't like getting rid of them either. I love bees and have a flourishing garden for them where we encounter each other in the summer. I place them in many paintings and poetry with efforts of spreading their importance to others. Beautiful combination of art and images too, thanks!

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  11. I agree. The bees are better off not coming inside. Ants shouldn't either. I don't mind a flood of them milling around on my walkway outside, but even one inside. It's not going to end well.

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