Blind Huber

Poems

By Nick Flynn
Graywolf Press, Paperback, 9781555973735, 96pp.

Publication Date: October 2002

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Description

Award-winning poet Nick Flynn takes readers into the dangerous and irresistible center of the hive

"I sit in a body & think of a body, I picture"
"Burnens' hands, my words"
"make them move. I say, plunge them into the hive, "
"& his hands go in."-from "Blind Huber"

Blindness does not deter Francois Huber-the eighteenth-century beekeeper-in his quest to learn about bees through their behavior. Through an odd, but productive arrangement, Huber's assistant Burnens becomes his eyes, his narrator as he goes about his work. In Nick Flynn's extraordinary new collection, Huber and Burnens speak and so do the bees. The strongest virgin waits silently to kill the other virgins; drones are "made of waiting"; the swarm attempts to protect the queen. It is a cruel existence. Everyone sacrifices for the sweet honey, except the human hand that harvests it all in a single afternoon.

"Blind Huber" is about the body, love, and devotion and also about the limits of what can be known and what will forever be unknown. Nick Flynn's bees and keepers-sometimes in a state of magnificent pollen-drunk dizziness-view the world from a striking and daring perspective.




About the Author
Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and a case-worker with homeless adults. His most recent book is The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (2011), is a collection of poems that are linked to his latest memoir, The Ticking is the Bomb (2010).His previous memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004), won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, was shortlisted for France's Prix Femina, and has been translated into fourteen languages. He is also the author of a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (2008), as well as two other books of poetry, Some Ether (2000), and Blind Huber (2002). Flynn's first memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, has been adapted into a full feature film called Being Flynn, which is scheduled for release in 2012 from Focus Features. Being Flynn is directed by Paul Weitz and starring Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, and Julianne Moore. Flynn himself is executive producer and artistic collaborator on the film. Flynn is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston.



Praise For Blind Huber

"Flynn is unquestionably one of the most interesting poets writing today, and avid poetry readers should be lining up for this book."—Library Journal

"[A] compact and compelling lyric sequence."—Publishers Weekly

"Contemplative and empathic, Flynn discerns the essence of complex sensory and emotional states, writing with a light but commanding touch in poems that are at once airy and tensile. In his ravishing and award-winning debut, Some Ether (2000), he portrayed a boy coping with his young mother's suicide. Here, in a radical departure, Flynn imaginatively enters the rarefied existence of a French eighteenth-century beekeeper named Francois Huber, who, in spite of going blind during childhood, conducted groundbreaking studies of the hidden dynamics of hive life with the help of an assistant remembered only as Burnens. As fascinated by the bees' points of view as by Huber's phenomenal ability to divine their ways through sound, touch, and smell, Flynn writes with exquisite delicacy and transporting agility not only of the blind apiarist's vivid perceptions but also of the experiences of drones, workers, and queens. Spellbound within wax edifices beneath a honey rain, Flynn succinctly and resonantly contrasts the dense and thrumming bee realm with our own buzzing, bittersweet world of avid appetites and aggression, longing and valor."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

"This is a work of the creative imagination unlike any other."—Stanley Kunitz

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