Tag Archives: bumblebees

The Emily Project: Part One/Life–XIV (Some things that fly)

Bombus polaris, a polar bumble bee

Bombus polaris, a polar bumble bee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Flying.  I give thoughts to flying.  How I would like to fly and how I am attracted to those things that can fly.  Big fat black bumblebees droning from flower to flower, swallows dipping and swerving about through the summer sky, and fireflies, although I’ve never seen one, I bet they are way cool to come across.

Apparently Emily D thought about flying as well.  Here’s thoughts on her XIV from Part One:

Edith: parentheses around the second stanza. Does that mean a special notation for that particular stanza–makes sense to me if it does.

Me: I like Emily’s short poems.  They tend to pack a quick punch, like a well-placed quip–I’m thinking of Elizabeth Bennet lines from her encounters with Mr. Darcy.

In the first stanza Emily pops off a few things that fly: birds, hours (brilliant!), the bumble-bee and she feels she doesn’t have to lament their passing, which is what elegy means to me, a poem of remorse of something no longer there (as in dead).

In the second stanza Emily talks about some things that don’t fly off, that hang around: grief, hills, eternity.  She says these things don’t “behooveth” her.  Hmm, I’ve come across behoove, as in doing things properly, but behooveth doesn’t come up on my on-line dictionary.  I wonder if Emily is putting a wordplay on “behoove” and on “moveth” making this a hybrid word.  What I hear her saying is sorrow, nature, and life after death are things that she can’t properly get worked up about.

In this stanza Emily gets tricky in her wording.  She says: There are, that resting, rise. I interpret that as acknowledging that some things, after a time, change from one state into another state. Or is she saying, “let’s put that aside for now”? She obviously can’t explain everything there is that she has questions about, like the sky–she knows she can’t explain the sky.

To me Emily is stating how she can’t change the way things are.  Life tends to be a big mystery in many areas of life.

As for Edith and her parentheses -I’m thinking she found comfort in the fact there Emily wrote how grief, hills, and eternity are always with us.  It seemed like a confirmation.

From bumblebees to eternity, Emily D knows how to cover all subjects.

SOME things that fly there be,—
Birds, hours, the bumble-bee:
Of these no elegy.
Some things that stay there be,—
Grief, hills, eternity:         5
Nor this behooveth me.
There are, that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the riddle lies!