Poetry / Fire in the Garden


Publisher:
Mother's Hen

Publication date:
1997

0-914370-72-3
paper, 68 pages, $9.95

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“Lucille Day’s stunning language in Fire in the Garden has the metaphorical precision and complexity of Sylvia Plath, coupled with a voluptuousness that is all her own. She is afire in a world where ‘White flames dance.’”
— Judy Wells

“Fire in the Garden is a book of beauties and multilations, erotic intimacies, distances, and mysteries, seductive dreams and sardonic deflations of our common dreamlife. It runs hot, cold and shivery, and will keep surprising you with the ‘taste of ash’ on its lips.” 
— Alicia Suskin Ostriker

“In the tradition of the best surrealism, Lucille Day’s poems display unusual combinations of images that cohere to present a personal, and at the same time universal, vision of everyday struggles—a vision probing the consoling powers of imagination, ‘the cool blue flight/of stars, flowing/through the endless black.’ Her powerful, sharp-edged, declarative poems speak to all of us.” 
— Timothy Houghton

Renée with Fan

After a painting by Barbara Rogers

I stand in the jungle,
dressed in white,
my turban tied.

I’ve been here for years
in my jewels,
wearing the same
red smile,

always ready
for something rare,
footsteps
bringing a crystal bell

or stained-glass ladder
through ferns
and rubber trees,
the rush of breathing.

A flamingo lifts
its wings
but does not fly;
leaves turn silver.

Night
brings dreams
shifting like sand,
the moon’s whisper.

Somewhere near
there is always the toll
of the sea,

there is always the
taste of ash on my lips,
the wait.

— Lucille Lang Day


From Fire in the Garden,
first published in Transfer