Buzz Words Poems About Insects

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A unique anthology of poems--from around the world and through the ages--that celebrates the gloriously diverse insect world.

Given that insects vastly outnumber us, it is no surprise that many cultures have long and rich traditions of verse about our tiny fellow creatures. Tang Dynasty poets in China and the haiku masters of Japan composed thousands of works in praise of crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas, moths, and butterflies, as well as such humbler bugs as houseflies, fleas, and mosquitoes. In the West, poems about insects date back to the ancient Greeks and appear frequently in Europe from the Elizabethan period onward. The brilliant poets collected here range far and wide in time and place, including Tu Fu, John Donne, Kobayashi Issa, William Wordsworth, Victor Hugo, Ivan Turgenev, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Robert Frost, E. E. Cummings, Elizabeth Bishop, Ted Hughes, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Xi Chuan, and Kevin Young. Bees, butterflies, and beetles, cockroaches and caterpillars, fireflies and dragonflies, ladybugs and glowworms—the miniature beings that adorn these pages are as varied as the poetic talents that celebrate them.

Table of Contents:
INSECTARIUM
ELIZABETH BISHOP Sleeping on the Ceiling
DAVID BUDBILL Bugs in a Bowl
JOHN CLARE Insects
HARRYETTE MULLEN From Urban Tumbleweed
ELISE PASCHEN Miss Spider's Guests
WILLIAM ROSCOE The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast
ARTHUR SZE Windows and Mirrors
IVAN TURGENEV The Insect

 

WORKERS
KURT BROWN Bombing the Swarm
XI CHUAN The Ant's Plunder
CAROL ANN DUFFY Virgil's Bees
PAUL VALÉRY The Bee
RALPH WALDO EMERSON The HumbleBee
NICK FLYNN Workers (Attendants)
ROSS GAY Ode to the Beekeeper
JANE HIRSHFIELD Like an Ant Carrying Her Bits of Leaf or Sand
EDWARD LEAR "There was an Old Man in a tree"
JOSEPH O. LEGASPI Ants
MARK PAJAK Still Life
MAY SWENSON A Couple
JEAN TOOMER Beehive
CHARLES TENNYSON TURNER Eros and the Bee
ABIGAIL WENDER Fable
JAMES WRIGHT The First Days

 

SINGERS
MARILYN CHIN The Cricket
PHILIP FRENEAU To a CatyDid
RIGOBERTO GONZÁLEZ Cicadas
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES To an Insect
LEIGH HUNT To the Grasshopper and the Cricket
KOBAYASHI ISSA Haiku
JOHN KEATS On the Grasshopper and Cricket
JULIET S. KONO "Their caps blown off "
VACHEL LINDSAY Crickets on a Strike
MELEAGER To the Cicada
THOMAS MOORE Odes of Anacreon: Ode XXXIV
JAMES TATE Cricket Cricket
CELIA THAXTER Foreboding
RICHARD WILBUR Cicadas

 

SPARKLERS AND SWOOPERS
FIONA BENSON Blue Ghost Firefly
LOUISE BOGAN The Dragonfly
OJIBWE Chant to the FireFly
W. H. DAVIES The Dragonfly
VICTOR HUGO The Dragonfly
STANLEY KUNITZ The Dragonfly
ILYSE KUSNETZ Bleach
D. H. LAWRENCE Fireflies in the Corn
ANDREW MARVELL The Mower to the Glow-Worms
HOWARD NEMEROV The Dragonfly
FRANK ORMSBY Fireflies
LEE SLONIMSKY Dragonflies in Love
TU FU Watching Fireflies

GLIDERS
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE The Butterfly
LINDA HOGAN Season of the Butterflies
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS "All as that moth"
RANJIT HOSKOTE Moth
DORA MALECH Little Offer
EDWIN MARKHAM The Night Moths
SHARON OLDS Monarchs
MARY OLIVER Great Moth Comes from His Papery Cage
CARL PHILLIPS Luna Moth
FREDERICK SEIDEL White Butterflies
JANE SHORE A Luna Moth
PAGE HILL STARZINGER Coronal
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH To a Butterfly

LEAPERS
E. E. CUMMINGS rpophessagr
ELLA DUFFY Mantis
KIMIKO HAHN Reckless Sonnet #2
YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA The Seventeen-Year Locust
RICHARD LOVELACE The Grasshopper
JAMES MERRRILL The Locusts
RAJIV MOHABIR Cryptic Mimicry
OGDEN NASH The Praying Mantis
MANOHAR SHETTY Praying Mantis
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON The Grasshopper

WEAVERS
ROSE TERRY COOKE Arachne
WILLIAM EMPSON Arachne
CAROL FROST Web-Making
EMILY DICKINSON "A Spider sewed at Night"
ROBERT FROST Design
WELDON KEES What the Spider Heard
VACHEL LINDSAY The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly
ROBERT LOWELL Mr. Edwards and the Spider
MARY RUEFLE Spider
TOM SLEIGH In Which a Spider Weaves a Web on My Computer Screen
GERALD STERN Spider
WALT WHITMAN A Noiseless Patient Spider
RICHARD WRIGHT Haiku

CRAWLERS
CHARLES BUKOWSKI Cockroach
NINA CASSIAN The Caterpillar
TOI DERRICOTTE New Orleans Palmetto Bug
CORNELIUS EADY The Roach
DIANE FAHEY Cockroach
ROBERT GRAVES The Caterpillar
LINDA GREGG The Grub
FADY JOUDAH The Very Hungry Caterpillar
MIHAELA MOSCALIUC Centipede
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI The Caterpillar
MURIEL RUKEYSER St. Roach
ROBERT W. SERVICE Death of a Cockroach
ANNE SEXTON Cockroach
CHARLES SIMIC Cockroach
MICHAEL WATERS Lord Cockroach

 

STINGERS, BITERS, AND SUCKERS
DAVID BAKER Mosquitoes
JILL BIALOSKY By the Pool
JOHN DONNE The Flea
RICHARD EBERHART Gnat on My Paper
PABLO NERUDA "Fleas interest me so much"
AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL Mosquitoes
JOSÉ EMILIO PACHECO Mosquitoes
MICHAEL SCHMIDT Wasps' Nest
WILLIAM SHARP The Wasp
MONICA SOK Ask the Locals
EDWARD TAYLOR Upon a Wasp Child With Cold
BRIAN TURNER Aedes Aegypti
KEVIN YOUNG Sweet Blood

PESTS
ELLEN BASS Flies
GABRIELLE BATES Fruit Flies
WILLIAM BLAKE The Fly
FABIÁN CASAS The Horsefly
IMTIAZ DHARKER The Host
WALTER DE LA MARE The Fly
EMILY DICKINSON "I heard a Fly buzz - when I died--"
ARACELIS GIRMAY luam & the flies
TERRANCE HAYES American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin
ROBERT HERSHON Restless in Spring
TED HUGHES Buzz in the Window
ANN INOSHITA Feva
GALWAY KINNELL The Fly
ANTONIO MACHADO Flies
THOMAS MACKELLAR To a Troublesome Fly
W. S. MERWIN The Rose Beetle
PAUL MULDOON Clegs and Midges
WILLIAM OLDYS On a Fly Drinking Out of His Cup
ALICE OSWALD Flies
YANG WANLI Cold Fly

 

KIMIKO HAHN is the author of ten books of poems, including Foreign Bodies (2020). Hahn is a distinguished professor in the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, City University of New York. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a former president of the Poetry Society of America.

HAROLD SCHECHTER is a professor emeritus of American literature and culture at Queens College, City University of New York, and the author of several mystery novels featuring Edgar Allan Poe, as well as coeditor of three previous Everyman's Library Pocket Poet volumes. He lives in New York City.

Everyman's Library

Pub Date: April 06, 2021

0.9" H x 6.3" L x 4.4" W

256 pages

hardcover