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

Williams, Margaret Ann (2013) Telling the bees: a collection of poems with a critical preface. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

PDF - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1010 Poetry
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0500 Poetry
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2013 09:58
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015 15:08

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update