The Bees, By Carol Ann Duffy

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The Independent Culture

The Poet Laureate knows how to sprinkle daily life with the stardust of myth. Her new collection gives off a background buzz of eco- anxiety. Bees, their colonies depleted, recur as symbols of nature's delicate balance and the harm we cause.

"What have you done to the world?" asks "The Woman in the Moon". Yet the mythic and mundane work in tandem. The Bees features lovely elegies for Duffy's late mother that align heart and craft. As "Gesture" enquires, "Did you know/ at the edge of your ordinary, human days/ the gold of legend blazed"?

The Bees By Carol Ann Duffy Picador, £9.99