2014 / 72 pages
Poetry - ISBN: 978-1-907682-32-2
Cover art: Ria Czerniak
Published by Doire Press (2014)
"To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves" - Federico Garcia Lorca
Keeping Bees is full of poems about the body. And love. And fruit, where the fruit are nothing more than metaphors for the body and its parts. The same goes for the vegetables, the poem about boxes, and the most logical poem I have ever written about a horse. I love the body. The word itself, the way it feels to say it, is sexy. The first syllable presses lips together, and then opens them up, to where the second syllable presses the tongue up against the roof of the mouth; it is, as far as words go, absolutely one of the sexiest in the English language. In the end, while it does not surprise me that the collection is full of body (and bodies) it did not start out that way. I had no poetic designs on the body. All I knew is that I had one, and everyone else had one too.
(Excerpt from an essay written for The Stinging Fly blog. To read the full essay, click here.
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Praise for Keeping Bees
‘Occasionally naked yet always well-turned-out, some of these poems call to mind the spiritual-erotic quality of early Leonard Cohen, though the voice is unmistakably Dimitra Xidous’ own. Brimful of soul, and beautifully written, Keeping Bees is one of the most impressive and expressive poetry debuts in a long time.’
Patrick Chapman, author of A Promiscuity of Spines (Salmon Poetry) and The Negative Cutter (Arlen House)
‘“he says I have a very sexual view of love…”
…and she does. Dimitra Xidous is a truly delicious writer. She feasts upon the body in Keeping Bees. A strong unique voice; at times a young Aristotle and that obsession with natural process, at times her tones are of the sharp artist palette of Bishop, but more often laced with a sensual evocation of a female Neruda. This voice is as strong and unique as any young poet writing in English today. I was left breathless. Astounding originality, Xidous is fearless.’
Elaine Feeney, author of The Radio Was Gospel (Salmon Poetry)
‘Honest, refreshing, daring, at times even arousing. A collection centered on the subject of instinct and on the instinctual subject. Poems by a wide-eyed mind about the body and all of its thrills. Poems that push at the limits of respectability and solitude until those limits dissolve. Poems then of true presence, real impact that will affect you in the gut, in the plexus, in the glands, the cortices, the nerves. And so one I’ll be taking down often from my shelf by the bed from now on.’
Dave Lordan, author of Invitation to a Sacrifice (Salmon Poetry)and First Book of Frags (Wurm Press)