Lucille Lang Day, Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems. Blue Light Press, 2015.
Lucille Lang Day has been to a lot of places – St. Paul, Washington, Paris, Florence, Orvieto, Barcelona. And like most tourists, she has visited the museums and found herself thinking about her own responses to what she has seen. Sometimes the result is a descriptive impression, say of one of Monet’s water lily paintings (“Pink and yellow, they float…”). Sometimes it’s a more obvious emotional reaction, as after visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington when the poet looks at the people around her:
this way and that, each one lucky,
each one blessed. Their shoes will not
molder in piles, coated with ash and dirt.
These are perfectly human, perfectly ordinary responses, and the language is serviceable and plain-faced. The places visited and things seen are rather typical; the poet and her husband have a pizza in Piazza San Marco, she looks at works by artists we’ve all heard of. She offers feelings without showing any real vulnerability, in much the same way that her travels never seem to take her anywhere off the beaten path.