Bees and seas

On Saturday 31st and Sunday 1st the IsamBards – Pameli Beham, Deborah Harvey, myself and David Johnson (in that order in the pic) –  will be leading poetry walks at Bristol University Botanic Garden, one at 11.00 another at 2.00.

The theme is bees and pollination. If there really are such things as eco-poems, as distinct from concerned nature poems, then this will be eco-poetry in action. We’ll be taking people round the gardens and reading/performing poems with bees and other pollinators in them. This as part of the Botanic Garden’s Bee and Pollination Festival

Not unconnected at all was the artist Luke Jerram’s installation Gaia   ‘Look how much of it is sea,’ we all said. And if for centuries there have been lots of bees in poems, think how much ocean there is too, from the Odyssey to Alice Oswald.

There was an interesting article in the spring issue of Poetry Review by Inger Christensen translated by Sussana Nied, The Dream of a City, in which the Swedish writer Göran Palm is quoted as saying ‘Why write about horses when we know most farmers have tractors?’ Christensen takes this a step further (to point out that this is nonsense) and asks ‘Why write about nature at all when most people live in cities?’ Of course we live on a globe that is more ocean than land, and we are polluting both. On the land, which depends on the sea, we depend on bees and other pollinators, whose habitats we are depleting. Our disregard for the natural world threatens our food supply and much else. And that we are a menace to ourselves and other living things on Earth is one answer to the question ‘why write about nature?’

Come and join us among the flowers and plants and their pollinators the weekend after next. 

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