'The flowers ... will blaze one last time and go out'

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We've published several poems from The University of Minnesota Press's collection of bee poems, If Bees Are Few. Here's one about the recent decline in the world's bee population by the distinguished poet Linda Pastan, who lives in Maryland. Her most recent book is Insomnia, WW Norton & Co.



by Linda Pastan


The biography of a bee

is written in honey

and is drawing

to a close.


Soon the buzzling

plainchant of summer

will be silenced

for good;


the flowers, unkindled

will blaze

one last time

and go out


And the boy nursing

his stung ankle this morning

will look back

at his brief tears


with something

like regret,

remembering the amber

taste of honey. 



American Life in Poetry is made possible by the Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem © 2002 by Linda Pastan, 'The Death of the Bee,'rom If Bees Are Few: A Hive of Bee Poems, ed. James P Lenfestey, (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2016). Originally published in Last Uncle,(WW Norton & Co, 2002). Poem reprinted by permission of Linda Pastan and WW Norton & Co., Inc. Introduction © 2017 by the Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-06.

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 7th Sep 2017 15:32

Pertinent and plangent - a timely reminder to get something
done to stop this decimating dangerous event in nature
from progressing.

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