Karl Ove Knausgaard is a Responsible Beekeeper, or My Struggle (to Find a Word That Rhymes)
Karl Ove Knausgaard is a Responsible Beekeeper, or My Struggle (to Find a Word That Rhymes) was written because I keep bees myself and I couldn't get rid of an ear worm which insisted on rhyming Knausgaard with "mouse guard". For those who don't know, a mouse guard is a strip of metal with holes in it that a responsible beekeeper places across the entrance to the hive during the winter months in order to stop rodents from seeking warmth inside. I do in fact have a mouse guard myself, but every year since I've had it, I've never actually got round to attaching it. Having read the first couple of volumes of Knausgaard's magnum opus, "My Struggle", I got the impression that if he did keep bees (and I haven't yet come across any reference to confirm or deny this), he would be extremely conscientious about it. (I do recommend the books, by the way. On the face of it, they consist of a rather disagreeable Norwegian dude describing his life in minute detail, but they are oddly compelling, and it's no surprise that he is something of a cult figure.)
Despite a number of attempts, this poem was not published anywhere else prior to inclusion in this collection, nor was it placed in any competitions.