Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sonnet Dare: A Dote Upon The Honeycomb

Geometry is with us ev'rywhere.
We've need for order bred into our bones.
Nor are we near the only ones who care,
As witness hymenopt'ran honeycombs.
Small hexagons in wax, so tightly packed
As to make structures of surprising strength
Within which grubs mature, safe and intact --
And other stuff is stored there, too, at length:
Sweet honey and raw pollen. Dizziness
Must sure confront one, wandering among
These structures -- but the builders always guess
Just what is where; the food and fed, the young
And old maternal queen. What's more: surprise!
The cells are viewed therein with compound eyes.


  1. That's freaking awesome.. I am agog. x

  2. Kate, I have to pass this along.

    I teach ninth grade English to very "regular" students in Texas City, Texas (we refine oil here). I used this poem as part of my introduction to a poetry unit. It was nearly 2:30. Your poem was projected on my wall in extremely large format. I was waxing eloquent on your careful adherence to the conventions of the sonnet, the masterful flow of words that do not feel compelled to stop at the end of each line, and the natural grammatical structures you wove into your expression.

    One of my more artistic, expressive students, who recently had four metal studs implanted into her upper chest as a birthday present from her parents, raised her hand, a noteworthy exception to the usual blurting out of comments. And said, "Ms. Pogue, I get the part about it's not about breakfast cereal but what is she trying to say?"

    Several others voiced their agreement. A five minute lecture on the nature of bees, honey, beeswax, and honeycombs followed.

  3. Richard, glad to oblige.

    Gay, that story made me extraordinarily happy! That you've got kids reading my poetry has me chuffed beyond words; that you had them talking about bees on top of it sends me right 'round the hive! This made my day!


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