Poetry / Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems

Published by
Blue Light Press

Publication date:

paper, 34 pages, $12.00

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“The Muse of Museums has found her poet in Lucille Lang Day. She has a painter’s eyes, a scientist’s mind and an alchemist’s soul. In her museum poems—be they dedicated to art, anthropology, science or pinball—she describes the world we enter with scientific precision, paints it with colorful words, then throws in a tincture of wild imagination, memory, a drop of ancestral spirit and proclaims: ‘Let there be magic!’ and there is magic, in poem after poem. The shaman whose costume is preserved in a glass case rises to fly over oceans. At the Pinball Museum, with her nine-year-old grandson, we are suddenly in the company of his grandfather, ‘slender and seventeen,’ playing a mean pinball. In the art museum a female Buddha dances for us in the poet’s eye. Read these poems and you too will be touched by magic.”
— Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, author of The Little House on Stilts Remembers and The Sister from Below

 “With imagination, vision, and insight, Lucille Lang Day consciously connects herself to ancestors and artisans from all over the world. Ambitious in scope and yet intimate in detail, Dreaming of Sunflowers offers the reader a walk through the history of human ingenuity.”
— Alison Luterman, author of Desire Zoo and See How We Almost Fly

“The reader is riveted by the unexpected in Dreaming of Sunflowers, swept from poem to poem as if each were its own individual room where ‘we wake to the rubble and small pulse of our lives.’ We discover a part of ourselves in each and recognize the longing of those who take on ‘the task of saving what remains.’ Lucille Lang Day has such rich subject matter that this is more than a chapbook; it is a canvas with language.”
— M.E. Silverman, author of The Breath Before Birds Fly
and publisher of Blue Lyra Review

Vincent's Bedroom
in Arles

The upstairs room in the yellow house
across the street from the Roman arena
in Arles is almost as he painted it: bowl
and pitcher on a small table, two chairs,
a bed with yellow sheets and a red comforter,
the only difference a second small table
with a box for the artist’s brushes and palette.
For a few euros, you can enter this fiction.
The actual corner house that Vincent rented
from Widow Venissac in 1888 was hit
by an Allied bomb, blown into history.

But who can say what’s real? The same
Provençal sun warms this house as the one
where he wanted to fill his guest room
with paintings of sunflowers. “I want
to make it into a true artist’s house,” he wrote.
“Everything—from the chairs to the pictures—
should have character.” And if this character
is captured by designers who copied his room
here on a street where he must have walked,
perhaps this is now a true artist’s house too,
where one could go mad dreaming of sunflowers.

— Lucille Lang Day


From Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems,
first published in U.S. 1 Worksheets