Self-Portrait with a Swarm of Bees combines the poet’s unerring instinct for the surprising perspective on commonplace objects or events – plants, animals, landscapes – with a mischievous delight in the detail of the absurd, the precarious balance. Wagner is a vigilant, yet playful, chronicler of the quotidian, his meticulous handling of image and sound forging a worldly, almost luminous palpability. Intensely curious, constantly attentive to novel or unanticipated possibilities afforded by traditional forms, Wagner’s poems celebrate what he has called ‘our steaming, glowing, odorous, noisy world’.