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Bee Journal (The Birds and the Bees)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The Birds and the Bees series was designed for Vintage Classics by Timorous Beasties, the Scottish studio famous for their designs inspired by the natural world

Bee Journal is a poem-journal of beekeeping that chronicles the life of the hive. It observes the living architecture of the comb, the range and locality of the colony; its flights, flowers, water sources, parasites
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Vintage Classics (first published July 5th 2012)
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Sienna
Dec 26, 2012 Sienna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2012, poetry
How bees touch and re-align their touch.

Light in migration;
noise of a body in continual repair...


I love this concept: a poetic narrative recounting the life and death of a beehive from the perspective of a first-time apiarist. Borodale can write beautifully, eloquently, unexpectedly; there's a physicality to his images and turns of phrase that suits the subject matter. He plays with form, perspective and structure, but most of these pieces are short and straightforward, however lyrical. Yet, h
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Alice Lippart
Jun 02, 2016 Alice Lippart rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2016
Love the concept and the writing is lyrical and lovely. Did feel a bit disconnected to it though and it didn't particularly move me, expect in some rare moments. Enjoyed it mostly for the beauty of the words, more than any deeper meaning.
Judith
Oct 20, 2016 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love some of the poems in this little book -all about bees through the year.
Nathalie Keighley Kristensen
Mar 17, 2017 Nathalie Keighley Kristensen rated it really liked it
I have never read much poetry, but this one appealed to me. In part because I'm in a bee craze and digging out everything related to bees, but also because of the journal aspect. I really enjoyed how all poems were related to the hive and beekeeping, and it was fascinating to see the development throughout the months and seasons.

I think it made it that much better that the author was new to beekeeping. You sense a curiosity and a fascination in his approach to the subject, and that rouses some o
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Michael Vint
May 30, 2014 Michael Vint rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Innovative and novel concept suturing two different forms- the journal and poetry.

It's also interesting in that it focuses specifically on a first time apiarist's experience, a theme which has been a poetic zeitgeist as of late with poetic forays and depictions literally and metaphorically from the likes of Carol Anne Duffy (who incidentally endorses the book). The trouble with this is two-fold; firstly the reader is taken through a cyclical sequence of poems (all dated) which means that diseng
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Matt Hunt
Feb 13, 2017 Matt Hunt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, poetry, 2017
This was wonderful.
A diary of poems documenting a year and a bit of bee keeping.
Reminded me very much of The Honey Month another bee themed diary.
Sarah westcott
Nov 30, 2012 Sarah westcott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful collection - each singular poem working to say something new; contributing to the whole. Each entry speaks to the others, and the reader. Borodale enters an alien colony and handles it with care and respect. He brings back much to think about.
These are often small notational poems; touching on the exquisite they accrete to make a narrative curve, a journey. Fascinating and moving. It is sad when he writes tenderly of dead bees. Their alien nature is palpable.
IMHO, this deserv
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Jessica
May 19, 2016 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This collection had a few good poems, but really I just found myself bored through the whole thing. The poems are all based on bee-keeping and I love bees, so I thought I was in for a wild ride of nature loving fun, but really it felt like something only a bee-keeper could really relate to, it wasn't as accessible as I'd hoped. Quite disappointed. I'll just have to write my own poems about bees I guess :(
Lucy Wright
May 11, 2016 Lucy Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I don't consider myself an expert on poetry, but there's something about Bee Journal that is reassuringly clear and beautiful. You get a real sense of the bees' life cycle, and of the chores and joys of keeping them. Sometimes the poems read more like practical excerpts; sometimes like wandering daydreams. A lovely, quiet read that evokes the British countryside marvellously.
Charlotte Stevenson
Jan 01, 2017 Charlotte Stevenson rated it liked it
In keeping with my love of Carol Ann Duffy's Bees anthology, it was no surprise that this spectacularly brilliant little journal of poetry and anecdote prove a fresh, quick read leaving me eager for the summer when I can stumble across some of these buzzy creatures in person again.
David Kenvyn
Jan 26, 2013 David Kenvyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extraordinary account in verse of the life and work of a bee keeper. I have to admit that I did not think that I would be interested but I heard the author give a reading at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and I decided to give it a go. It is well worth the read.
Kate
Aug 09, 2016 Kate rated it did not like it
This wasn't for me unfortunately, as I love the concept; but I found this sequence confusing and cold. Maybe it made more sense to bee keepers who know what they are doing. I was expecting some passion for bees to come through and I didn't get that. Real shame.
Claire
Jun 22, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
a beautiful collection of poetry featured in the 'Mood Busters' campaign at my local library. I was in awe of the language... such a beautiful and profound portrayal of beekeeping and a fantastic example of nature writing.
Chaundra
Jan 11, 2014 Chaundra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I picked this up on a whim when at the library last week and am so glad I did! A year and a bit in a bee keeper's journey told through poetry. It sounds dull but it is really beautiful and emotionally engaging. Highly recommended!
Pauline
Jan 14, 2013 Pauline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Innovative use of language, avoids all obvious cliches, a page turner of a poetry book.
Agnes Marton
Oct 18, 2014 Agnes Marton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very boring.
Andrea
Jan 24, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Lovely and lyrical.
Allison
Allison rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2016
Andrew
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Oct 07, 2015
Patrick Saint
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Nidhi Pande
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Alasdair Pettinger
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Charlotte
Charlotte rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2016
Emma Miles
Emma Miles rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2017
Charlotte Wightwick
Charlotte Wightwick rated it liked it
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Alda
Alda rated it liked it
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Emma
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Everybookhasasoul
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James Maconochie-Joy
James Maconochie-Joy rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2015
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