Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place
A book of poems deserves a few quotations, reaching out to garner the sentiment no less than their words and messages. The poet’s grandson declares his love extravagantly demands a response:
What can I say? Stars are too distant,
Flowers too small, and fragile. Stumped,
I reply, ‘I love you that much too.’
In her new collection, Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place, Lucille Lang Day fits two genres between the covers. The first shares postcard messages, souvenirs of exotic views, restaurants, small setbacks like broken sneakers. They’re likable, but beg the question, are they poetry?
Poetry has ‘poetic qualities however mentioned, ‘and ‘poetic spirit or feeling.’ So even if our schooling left us believing the likes of Keats and Milton defined poetry, we must allow credit to a new world, a topsy-turvy world, where poetry is unafraid to talk to us as equals, in a language we recognize.
Oh, what can we do to save
this world where people fear
a necklace might blow up
Donald Duck, or bring down a plane
Then, a deeper dimension, a lasting memory of Old Bill, a tribute to a dying friend of long ago:
I don’t believe in your death or mine,
but in colors and sky, all the possibilities
reflected in your hazel eyes, which glittered
Like emeralds the night we danced naked.
Should sentiment come later, as it has done here, or perhaps come into the early pages so travels can assuage emotion?
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