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Arrival of the Bee Box The poem appears to allude to the speakers mixed sentiments towards a bee box

that she had just received. Upon closer analysis, we find that the imagery and literary techniques applied seem to detail the speakers journey of finding a way to assume a form of authority and assert her identity in society. The speaker begins by putting herself in an authoritative position, being the owner of the box that she had ordered. !he establishes herself as having power over the bees in the box" as she describes her possession, however, the imagery she likens the box to be hint at some bi#arreness in nature. The box being a coffin of a midget is one of the many instances that $lath uses death imagery in her poems" here, it suggests that the speaker is in a roundabout manner ordering her death by ordering the bee box. That the speaker calls it a square baby represents the unnaturalness of the box to her, as the fresh innocent nature of a baby is sharply contrasted against the angular rigidity brought to mind by a square. The unnatural imagery used can be interpreted that the speaker views her authority over the bees as unnatural as well, thus questioning the true extent of any authority she might have. %cknowledging the danger of the bees, there is an underlying tone of fear when the speaker remarks & have to live with it overnight. 'ven so, she continues with the admission (she) cant keep away from it. This could imply that the speaker has an unnatural attraction to fatality or death, as seen from the death imagery in the previous stan#a. &t could also imply that the speaker is so desperate about holding on to her authority that she does not deem to be stable, that she is unwillingly to remove herself from the boxs presence even for a night. %ttempts to surround herself over the physical manifestation of her authority remain futile. %s the box (have) no windows, the speaker looks through the tiny grid where there was nothing but darkness, emphasi#ed by the alliteration of dark, dark. The imagery used here, of %frican labourers minute and shrunk for export, is that of power, of the exporter shipping the angered but helpless labourers out. This can be tied to the poems context, where the speaker is the exporter with the power over the bees, the exports, as she can choose their fate according to her fancy. The speakers thoughts change as she wonders what she will do with the bees and questions how (she can) let them out. *eali#ing their fate was in her hands, she takes a further step to deciding what to do with them. %s she thinks, the speaker reali#es that as their ruler, she actually has no idea what her subjects desire, as they speak unintelligible syllables. Their speech was to her an appalling noise of a *oman mob, and even after trying to decipher the furious +atin, she throws in the towel and professes (she) is not a ,aesar. The speaker gives up trying to decide what to do with the bees. %fter pondering and wavering between her decisions, the speaker comes to a sudden reali#ation that she had simply ordered a box of maniacs. The

matter of fact tone hints at a certain coldness as she distances herself from the bees, and her distancing from authority over them in exchange for assertion of her opinion. !he reali#es the choices that are open to her as she willingly gives up her control over the bees, passing that authority back to others. The bees can die as she need(s) feed them nothing, owing nothing to the bees as (she was) the owner - a dictators view on authority. .owever, we see a peculiar change in her attitude towards the bees in the next stan#a. The first line shows a glimpse of empathy for her subjects - & wonder how hungry they are. This compassion implies that the speaker is not one who will be willing to give up her emotional capacity for authoritative power alone. !he continues to ponder if they would forget (her) if she let them free. The speaker assumes that, since she is nothing of any food source to them, the bees would not harm her, and might ignore (her) completely. .owever, in her kindness to free the bees, she overlooks the pun on the word sweet in the line tomorrow & will be sweet /od - a direct contradiction to her previous remark that (she) is no source of honey. This could imply that the speaker is so taken with the idea of being a benefactor to her subjects that she overlooks the danger involved in doing so. The poem ends with the line The box is only temporary, emphasi#ed by the break in the 01line stan#as before it. &t is also symbolic of the temporary nature of the box - the line indeed breaks out from the physical shape of the boxed 01line stan#as, proving its permeance. 2y the end of the poem, we can see quite clearly that the speaker has confidence in her opinions, that she has made a choice to set (the bees) free, showing us that the speaker has thus asserted her identity through her firm stands on her opinion.