10 April, 2019 • • 40.5Creative WritingOriginal Poetry

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Hymn to RoboBee, after Sappho

Arabella Currie


Friedrich Kunath, We Must Believe In Spring (2018)


In addition, a radiowave-controllable bio-inspired flying robot
equipped with ionic liquid gel-coated vertically aligned animal hairs
could be used to successfully pollinate Lilium japonicum flowers*


Come from Crete to this frantic temple
where lilies muster on the bank, altars
bubble with riches, ionic liquid gel

makes stamens, filaments
stand on end with superwettability, obelisks
shiver in the breeze, oblivion winks

horses sink, †      † flowers
hot breath beats from above <short long short long short x
long short short long long>

there keep Aphrodite – into cold
metal measure blessings
calibrated for escape

* ‘Materially Engineered Artificial Pollinators’, Chem 2.2 (2017)

‘Hymn to RoboBee’ is part of a Special Issue on Uto/Dystopias.


Arabella Currie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter.