Did the harebell loose her girdle
To the lover bee,
Would the bee the harebell hallow
Much as formerly?
Did the paradise, persuaded, ~Emily Dickinson
Yield her moat of pearl,
Would the Eden be an Eden,
Or the earl an earl?
Brenna: Do you have any thoughts about the racy bee poem?
Pam: What is a harebell?
Brenna: A flower.
Pam: Only that this sounds like it was intended to be a tongue twister and I’m having trouble unpacking it!
Brenna: It is! It looks like bluebells.
I feel like all she’s saying is that if the harebell was easy to get, the bee would not appreciate it as much? I don’t know…do bees appreciate? I mean, bees are amazing, but I feel like she’s putting a LOT on them here. They seem like a stand-in metaphor for her…but for what? Humans in general?
Pam: Ooooooh that makes sense!!! I was reading it backwards and so confused!!
Brenna: LOL Backwards would definitely make it a tongue twister!
Pam: Right? But bees and flowers have a transactional relationship
Pathetic fallacy, Emily
Brenna: Yes! But she writes about them as if they don’t. As if bees are these lecherous parasites. But TBH she thinks bees are dudes, so there’s that.
Pam: What’s up with the earl?
Brenna: No. Idea. I get the heaven bit. If heaven was easily obtainable, would it really be heaven? But the earl….??? Is “earl” a metaphor for something of worth? I feel like she’s pushing really hard for the rhyme, which is weird because hello, Emily Dickinson, Queen of the Slant Rhyme.
Pam: Right?? Tongue twister. Or a pointed jab at someone.
Brenna: Ah! Maybe! Wasn’t there an earl in another one we read not too long ago? Or maybe I am making this up…Maybe she knew a guy named Earl??
Um, this is interesting: According to her, this is A Racy Poem. Also a feminist manifesto. And I have to say, as much as I love me a good feminist manifesto, I am having trouble as a feminist beekeeper going with this whole “bees as lecherous dudebros” metaphor.
Pam: Oh wow. Huh.
Brenna: Pam, can you imagine if Emily Dickinson had known that worker bees are all female? It would have BLOWN HER MIND. And changed half her poems.
Pam: I feel like this one might deserve a pic of a bee on a flower and that musing.
Pam: How would her poems have changed if she’d known???
Brenna: She couldn’t have used bees as a metaphor for creepsters, for starters! And I wonder whether she’d have still used them to symbolize God in other poems. I feel like she’s maligning bees. Poor bees never did anything to Emily Dickinson. Unless she got stung a lot. Even so. Maybe she got burned by a beekeeper.
Pam: Maybe she was allergic to honey. Or hated the smell of beeswax candles.
Brenna: Is that even possible?
Pam: I don’t know.
Brenna: Should we call it a day? I am tempted to just copy/paste this whole convo without editing.
Pam: Do it. It’s perfect.