cover of book

Gold Bee
by Bruce Bond
Southern Illinois University Press, 2016
Paper: 978-0-8093-3532-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-3533-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3552.O5943A6 2016b
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

In his collection Gold Bee, Bruce Bond takes his cue from Wallace Stevens’s Harmonium, bringing a finely honed talent to classic poetic questions concerning music, the march of progress, and the relationship between reality and the imagination.

Blending humor and pathos, Bond examines the absurdities of contemporary life:  “The modern air so full of phantom wires, / hard to tell the connected from the confused / who yak out loud to their beleaguered angels.” At other times, his intricately crafted lyrics weave together myth and history to explore the various roles music and art play in the human experience, as when Bond’s poems meditate on Orphean themes, descending to the underworld of loneliness, commercialism, or death and emerging with hard (and hard-won) truths.

Addressing broadly ranging topics—from a retelling of the story of Artephius, the fabled father of alchemy, to a meditation on a fashion ad’s wind machine—Bond’s voice is always penetrating in its examination, yet wondering in the face of beauty, conjuring for the reader a world where music has “the power / to move stones, not far, but far enough.”

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