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Telling the bees: a collection of poems with a critical preface

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posted on 2023-06-08, 15:36 authored by Margaret Ann Williams
Telling the Bees: A Collection of Poems with a Critical Preface is an anthology of fifty poems with an introductory preface. The poems represent an individual journey in writing poetry. The preface examines closely the sustained process of writing the poems. It offers a phenomenological account of an apprenticeship as a developing poet, taking into account the many and varied sources of inspiration, as well as exploring the specific role of memory as a catalyst for the poetic imagination. In the first chapter, divided into three parts, I examine the creative process in relation to the poems in the anthology, with a focus on the development of a poetic voice and personal sources of inspiration. Chapters Two and Three consider in detail the specific influence of Seamus Heaney and Virginia Woolf, both of whom have deepened my understanding of the transformation of everyday experience into poetic language. Their respective critical and autobiographical writing provides an important insight into the mind of the writer, and a further illumination of the creative process. I do not attempt to make explicit links between their works, except loosely in the context of imagist theory and fictionalisation of memory. In the final chapter, I reflect on what I have learnt during my long journey towards becoming a poet, drawing together the common threads that best illustrate the various complexities of writing poetry, including the craftsmanship it requires. The collection of poems is divided into four sections with separate themes that sometimes overlap and engage with each other on different levels. The first section, Observations, centres on Virginia Woolf and traces key events in her life based on her letters and diaries. The second section, Telling the Bees, is an experiment in writing poetry with an autobiographical focus on family relationships, memories, loss and reconciliation. The third section, A Moon Calendar, is a sequence of twelve poems that chart the changing nature of the seasons through the archaic names for each full moon, taken from different cultures. Some of these poems also have an autobiographical reference. The final section, An Indifferent Camera, looks at our transitory relationships with the natural world, and concludes with a short series of poems inspired by photographs, paintings and artefacts.


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  • eng


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