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The Hen and the Bees: Legends and Lyrics

Margaret Tait

Margaret Tait / 1960


Hardback, 44 pages

In stock

The Hen and the Bees is one of Margaret Tait’s self-published poetry books. This is a rare, out-of-print “interim edition”. The book collects some of Tait’s poems, a few of which first appeared in The Orkney Herald and The Voice of Scotland. Cover by Robin Philipson.

LUX has a small number of copies of this and other rare Tait poetry volumes, to complement the recent Subjects & Sequences: A Margaret Tait Reader (also available through the shop). Please note, all copies are in good condition and unmarked, but have some slight yellowing of their pages and warping of the hardback cover due to age. All copies will be sent by registered post.



Materials things are only tools

Or they’re nothing.

Food is a sort of tool,

And paint-brushes, pencils, cameras, books,

All tools of a kind

For making a life

Or lives.

But too much food is poison,

Comfort a permanent anaesthetic,

And too many paint-brushes, cameras, books

Waste away as toys.

A tool has the feel of the user’s hand on it If it’s a real tool.

A tool that is fully used

Gets a bloom on it

From its own essential-ness.

All other bits and things are clutter.