The Arrival of the Bee BoxThe Arrival By The Bee Box Of By Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Plath Created by Daniel Lambert
In this poem, Sylvia Plath expresses a desire to be in control. She feels she has to deal with a dangerous situation. At first she is not in control. She panics. She has a debate with herself and then she makes a calm In the fifth stanza she sidesteps decision. On one level, Plath is simply the problem: ‘I am not a Caesar’. recalling a personal She means she is not all-powerful. incident. The story of the She also means that she doesn’t poem concerns a task with a have to understand the bees’ bee box. In the first stanza ‘unintelligible syllables’, which she she states that it looks like would have to if she were Caesar ‘square’, like a midget’s listening to a ‘Roman mob’. coffin, heavy and noisy. In the second In the fourth stanza, the buzzing noise puts her off releasing the stanza, the bee boxbees. She fears their bee language both frightens and and now regards them as an attracts Plath. She aggressive Roman mob. She stares in at the bees describes their language as ‘unintelligible syllables’. through a little wire grid. In the third stanza, she regards ‘such a din in it’. The the bees as angry slaves that seek release and revenge: word ‘coffin’ suggests ‘Black on black, angrily death. The overall clambering’. Through the wire description of the bee- grid she sees darkness. She imagines the bees are like box is strange and army divisions of blackness disturbing. that she associates with ‘the swarmy feeling of African hands’.
Sometimes there is a tone of In this poem Sylvia Plath horror: expresses a desire to be in ‘the swarmy feeling of African control: hands…‘Tomorrow I will be sweet God’. Black on black, angrily clambering’. ThemesSometimes the tone is empty and Sometimes the tone appears to shows a lack of concern: be pleased, calm and decisive: ‘They can be sent back. ‘Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I They can die, I need feed them will set them free. nothing’ The box is only temporary’.
In the first stanza, Plath simply states a fact with theimage of the clean wood box. Then she uses a simile in which she compares the box to a square chair: square as a chair. Plath uses three comparisons in stanzas three, four and five. She calls the bees black slaves, a Roman mob and maniacs. [If you wish to, you can refer to these comparisons as analogies. Analogies are parallel images. There are three dramatic images of fear: ‘The box is locked, it is dangerous… Black on black, angrily clambering... It is the noise that appals me most of all’.