Barbara Lydecker Crane’s poems are like verbal paintings—less like text and more like an art book’s color plates. The sonnets she’s written here seem to be narrated by artists, both famous ones and many lesser known. The artists’ points of view inject real immediacy and intimacy. In poems where readers plunge from words into painting—and from painting, into the mind of the portrait subject or of the artist—she brings those people’s bodies and thoughts to vivid life. The artworks that she refers to, in chronological order from 1460 to 2010, weave a thread of world history that informs and engrosses. This book is a unique blend of art, history, and poetry.
— Deborah Warren, author of Strange to Say and Connoisseurs of Worms
Barbara Lydecker Crane lets us overhear the contempt of Holbein for his royal model, Henry VIII; the daring of Caravaggio, who used a dead prostitute as his model for the deceased Virgin Mary; and Copley’s admission of what he does to save his hide in a competitive world. These poems not only give us fascinating information about the lives of artists through the ages but also give fresh insights into how the arts reflect and enhance each other. I am hoping that this ambitious and impressive collection will become not only a rich artwork in its own right but also a teaching tool for the common benefit of poets, visual artists, students, teachers, and readers alike. This book deserves an audience as broad as that.
— Rhina P. Espaillat, author of And After All and The Field
Barbara Lydecker Crane’s new book of ekphrastic epiphanies brings us poems of rare precision and hard-won wisdom. Crane’s painterly sonnets embody history’s sweep: we encounter the artist as creator (“I Am What God Has Made Me” in Albrecht Dürer’s voice), and the fire of ambition (Jean-Michel Basquiat defiantly asking “What Do They Know?”). Like Mary Cassatt, who features in “The Opera Box,” a poem based on her 1878 painting, Crane possesses a clear and tender gaze whose “sight lines veer / left and right” but whose “only view / is art.” You Will Remember Me is a treasure trove of inventive moments in which painting, subject, backstory, and biography cast an illuminating glow upon each other.
— Ned Balbo, author of The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots and 3 Nights of the Perseids