A very succinct bit of advice in a poem by Emily Dickinson, is, I think, one that deals with public notoriety.

If a gifted person is filled with beauty, rhythm, voice and personality, in a way that gives his or her audience completely new and happy sensations, I wonder if it is even possible to take the poem to heart before being swept away.

Fame is a bee,
It has a song –
It has a sting –
Ah, too, it has a wing

As I look at the poem carefully, I think if fame is to be compared to a bee, Fame is a bee,” then the first thoughts are that fame/bee seek what is sweet; sweet attention from crowds, sweet wealth from a ticket-buying public. Perhaps the “sweet” best that someone can give of their talent and hard work. Also like the bee, fame, then, is very choosy about where it rests; and is very determined to get what it wants.

The “song” of the bee may be lost on most mere mortals (though probably not to Dickinson), It has a song -” but its hum is recognizable to other bees in a way that a mother recognizes her child’s cry above others. In poetic language, the flower “bows” to the bee’s humming, heard in the garden, hoping for it to be lured by her fragrance, to penetrate. No one ever doubted fame is sexy!

The sting of the bee is famous for its injury – It has a sting -” surely not for the severity of it, though is is painful. I think the dreaded element of a bee sting is mainly its surprise.

“Ah, too, it has a wing”. The fact that fame often abandons its host, in itself may be part of its sting. But, what about Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe? Their fame was so over-arching that it followed them with a sting few can understand. Certainly, much has been made of the non-sleek, anti-aerodynamic appearance of the bee. So, too, apparently, does fame give its recipients the impression, the feeling, that it can’t ever leave them. But, in fact, as the poem says, fame has a wing and can fly away quite spiritedly.

Digest A Poem A Day – Accept What Comes Your Way

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