A few days ago, at a folk session at the Convivial Rabbit micropub (which is in the Good Beer Guide) local journalist and musician Jerry Bird gave me a copy of the latest edition of Merry Meet, his journal of folklore and pagan heritage. Towards the back I found his review of my book of poems!
He wrote: “Bees feature prominently in the public mind at the moment, largely due to their steep and worrying decline brought about by mankind’s self-destructive path which currently involves the industrialisation of our countryside and the widespread use of toxic pesticides.
Thus this ‘collection of poems about bees and the people who keep them’, by a Dorset beekeeper, is unusually relevant to our times. It is an immensely entertaining and informative book. Chris Slade has a passion for bees and Beekeeping and his knowledge and enthusiasm shines through all of these verses, many of them in sonnet form, which Chris seems to favour.
I learned an awful lot about bees from the poems, which are interspersed with snippets of autobiography and apian behavioural science, which explains their context. I also laughed a lot, as they are infused with the poet’s laconic sense of humour – including the final one, ‘stumped’, a grim tale involving an encounter between an electric circular saw and the writer’s thumb, during an episode of beehive maintenance. Oh, and I learned something about oak trees too!
Recommended. Available from https://chrissladesbeeblog.wordpress.com/ ”
I hadn’t come across the Merry Meet magazine before. This issue, no 63, published at Samhain, contains articles about Stonehenge’s Welsh connection, Dorchester’s ghosts, Wayland’s Smithy, a Neolithic chambered long barrow, Woodbury Hill fair and the Revd R.S.Hawker: the Mystic of Morwenstow. If you would like to learn more about this fascinating magazine, visit the website: http://www.merrymeetmagazine.co.uk