Reprise: One Year Later!
ZZZZZZ I’m your host, Professor Barbara Mossberg, for our sweeeet humming show today called:
STAYIN ALIVE: FROM THE LIPS OF THE BEE GEES TO EARS OF UNIVERSE: WE RETURN TO OUR TOPIC OF EARTH’S ALPHABET BEGINS WITH B(EE): ON OUR BEES’ KNEES, OR, WHAT THE BUZZ IS ALL ABOUT, AND WHY IT KEEPS HUMMING
Bees, why bees, Dr. B? You’ve given us whole shows of moles and bats and hats and coots, roosters, birds, foxes, bears, butterflies, and even worms! How low can you go? You’ve had us walking, on our knees, falling from the sky and down stairs, lying in a hammock, rocking in interstellar space, slowed down to and swinging with revelation. What can be said about the plain old butter-knife bee? Hmmm? We’re into lyric, epic, ode, the quirky manic Bernstein, Stern, all the Williams, and Gregg, remember? What is with bees? Well, I’ll tell you, and thank you for asking. Because one of you, our evolved listeners, in this airspace hive of ours, wrote to me on Facebook to support a petition drive on behalf of bees, who are in peril—and so for earth alerts, us and all of us in this together, I’m like the elephant hearing a cry across the plains, and I’m on my thumping way; the way I see it, in the alphabet of ecology we are losing our b, and where would we be without B, and as bees go, so go we, and I immediately volunteered our worldwide cadre of poets for the cause, to rouse our attention to the flight of the bumblebee, the plight of the bumblebee, to wax poetic and wave the flag for bee preservation, and as it turns out, wouldn’t you know it, and YOU WOULD know it, O Poetry Slow Down, bees are not only in the headline news this week, as we speak, from Florida to California, but: they are a topic poets love. Scratch a poet and you’ll get a poem with bees—sometimes seemingly incidentally (is there anything incidental in a poem?) and sometimes intrinsic to what the work of the poet is, and what is at stake in this work. We’ll hear what all the buzz is about, so bee ready. Emily Dickinson (you knew that), John Muir (you knew that too!), Sylvia Plath, W.B. Yeats . . . . I was thinking of Sylvia Plath on this her birthday month, with her father, a professor on bees, her own midwife teaching her to keep bees, and her breakthrough poems on bees the last week of her life, which she felt finally demonstrated her genius, and empowered her her last great Ariel poems: what did bees mean to her as a woman poet? And for Yeats, his “bee loud glade,” from “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee/ And live alone in the bee-loud glade./ And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow” . . . . of course Plath had to live in Yeats’ house…and speaking of which, Dickinson, natch, in profound ways, identifies what bees mean to her, and then Antonio Machado, Pablo Neruda, and Shakespeare and Victor Hugo and then a symphony of poets in the Cider Press Review Volume 13, that has a . . . are you ready: I had just happened to take this with me, perhaps the orange on the cover grabbed my ever pumpkin lovin eye, and what is in the center? A bee. I know. And I randomly read the poems and in the first six poems, bees, I’m just sayin, honey . . . . and E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web and New Yorker editor, A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, Lewis Carroll’s zany mathematical romp in Alice in Wonderland, really all your faves . . .