"The Arrival of the Bee Box" begins, on a literal level, with a wooden box of live bees that the speaker has ordered. The poem opens by placing the bee box front and center. Indeed, no action really takes place in the poem—it is all about the speaker's thoughts as she contemplates the box and, in particular, her power over it.
The spare, simple language of the first line ensures that the image of the box is crystal clear:
I ordered this, clean wood box
The caesura after "this" creates a moment of pause or reflection as the speaker presents the "this" that she's ordered. It's almost as if she's talking to the box itself; note how different the line might feel were there no caesura there:
I ordered this clean wood box
Feels a bit less purposeful, doesn't it?
Moving on to the poem's second line, the clear assonance/internal rhyme of "square" and "chair" captures the imposing the sturdiness of the box, these sounds dominating the line like the box dominates the room. The box's heaviness foreshadows the way that it will provoke complicated thoughts in the speaker's mind.
Lines 3 to 5 darken the poem's tone:
I would say it was the coffin of a midget
Or a square baby
Were there not such a din in it.
Both images here are intentionally bizarre—the "coffin of a midget" or a "square baby." They establish the presence of both life and death in the poem, which plays an important role in the speaker's thoughts about the box.
The poem here increases its poetic volume to match the loud noise emanating from the bees in the box. As highlighted above, consonant /n/ sounds and assonant /i/ sounds bring the bees's "din" to life. The grammar of this sentence is also interesting. The word "would" gives these lines a sense of hesitation and doubt, giving a glimpse into the speaker's state of mind.
Indeed, as the poem develops, the box comes to represent all kinds of difficult emotions and psychological problems. The bees inside the box can be read as symbolizing the speaker's turbulent mind inside her body. And as hinted at by the use of the word "coffin," the speaker is haunted by the fact that her mind and body must die someday.