An animation made in response to Plath's poem, 'The Arrival of the Bee Box'.

 

See the film here 

 

Read more here

 

 

'I saw the poem as a metaphor for state of mind, and appropriated Plath's imagery to make my own metaphor, scratching into beeswax over and over until obliteration and cacophony coincided. I understood her nightmare state of mind where the turmoil is not physical at all, and I took a mirror and made Plath's little grid out of nothing but reflections so whoever looks at the piece becomes a part of it, and understands, too.  And then I undid the locks and released the bees.'

                                                                                                                                       Jane Tudge 

The Arrival of the Bee Box

By Sylvia Plath

 

I ordered this, this clean wood box

Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift

I would say it was the coffin of a midget

Or a square baby

Were there not such a din in it.

 

The box is locked, it is dangerous.

I have to live with it overnight

And I can't keep away from it.

There are no windows, so I can't see what is in there.

There is only a little grid, no exit.

 

I put my eye to the grid.

It is dark, dark,

With the swarmy feeling of African hands

Minute and shrunk for export,

Black on black, angrily clambering.

 

How can I let them out?

It is the noise that appals me most of all,

The unintelligible syllables.

It is like a Roman mob

Small, taken one by one, but my god, together!

 

I lay my ear to furious Latin.

I am not a Caesar.

I have simply ordered a box of maniacs.

They can be sent back.

They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner.

 

I wonder how hungry they are.

I wonder if they would forget me

If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree.

There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades,

And the petticoats of the cherry.

 

They might ignore me immediately

In my moon suit and funeral veil.

I am no source of honey

So why should they turn on me?

Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.

 

The box is only temporary.

©  Jane Tudge 

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean