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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784871130
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

Bee Journal (The Birds and the Bees)

Formats & editions

The Birds and the Bees series from Vintage Classics - beautiful editions of the finest British nature writing

The Birds and the Bees series was designed for Vintage Classics by Timorous Beasties, the Scottish studio famous for their designs inspired by the natural world
Bee Journal is a poem-journal of beekeeping that chronicles the life of the hive. It observes the living architecture of the comb, the range and locality of the colony; its flights, flowers, water sources, parasites, lives and deaths. Because of its genesis as a working journal, there is here an unusual intimacy and scrutiny of life and death in nature. The language is dense and clotted, the imagery thrillingly fresh, and the observing eye close, scrupulous and full of wonder.



  • Pub date: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784871130
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Sean Borodale

Sean Borodale was born in London and works as a poet and artist. His first collection of poetry, Bee Journal, was shortlisted for the 2012 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Costa Poetry Book Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2014 he was selected as one of twenty Next Generation Poets.

Also by Sean Borodale

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Praise for Bee Journal (The Birds and the Bees)

“Sean Borodale is without doubt the most exciting new poet I have read since Alice Oswald. His Bee Journal raises the bar for us all and announces a thrilling new voice in British poetry”

Carol Ann Duffy

“Truly heady and intense poems, honey itself in poetic form, a sustained tour de force of language and thought”

Simon Armitage

“This book is a kind of uncut home-movie of bees. I like its oddness and hurriedness, its way of catching the world exactly as it happens in the split-second before it sets into poetry. These are pre-poems, note-poems dictated by phenomena. Their context is bees, but their subject (intriguingly) is Time...”

Alice Oswald

“Harbours great energy and abundant imagination...a strikingly original voice”


“Borodale is an extremely accomplished poet…the most beautiful expression of what it is like to live with bees that you could hope to find…they show a wonderful clarity of thought and expression and a great talent for capturing an impression. The recent rising popularity of beekeeping has spawned a number of popular books on the subject but this towers above them all in ambition and emotional effect. It is an exquisite window into bees and beekeeping”

Ian Douglas, Telegraph

“Sean Borodale’s Bee Journal lifts the veil on the apiarists life and goes to the heart of the hive… The dense and intense language is the verbal equivalent of the honey that delights the tongue”

Mark Sanderson, Sunday Telegraph

“Book to savour and reserve for treat reading, a bit like the best honey…a word-filled jar of golden treasure”

Dovegrey Reader

“This beekeeping journal in verse form provides an intimate portrait.”

Stephanie Cross, Lady

“The past few summers in the states as well as here in the UK I’ve become aware the music of buzzing insects such as bees has dimmed and it concerns me. Borodale’s poems are like honey on toast, a reminder of what I want my grandchildren to taste in the future as sweetly as I have in the past.”

Virginia Schultz, The American

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