“Fidelity in a Bed of Pinks”

Gabriella Brand created “Fidelity in a Bed of Pinks” from How to Keep Bees by Anna Botsford Comstock (1905). Please click here to read.

About the poem and the process of composing it, Gabriella writes:

I absolutely fell in love with the style of How to Keep Bees by Anna Botsford Comstock. Her writing is a delightful mixture of quaint and tender observations of the natural world interspersed with practical instructions. The juxtaposition of these two modes creates, I think, an inherent yin-yang, feminine-masculine duality. On the one hand, Comstock almost encourages us to anthropomorphize the bee—to imagine the creature with a will, a love life, a determined attitude. On the other hand, she treats the bee as an impersonal mechanism and reduces it to a set of behaviors. I thought this inherent tension could be developed poetically. I read each section of the book over several times aloud, learning quite a bit about bees in the process. Then I put her work down and let her lyrical turns of phrase resonate in my mind. An embryonic piece began to form. I ripped words from Comstock and kept rearranging them until the poem finally emerged.