Kites: A Year of 50 Short Poems by Greg Gregory was a light, enjoyable poetry collection. Although all the poems are very concise, I was impressed by how much emotion and imagery each one contained. If you enjoy poetry and short prose, you should consider walking with Gregory through a year, listening to his thoughts on each passing season.
One of my favorite poems from this collection was titled “6 am.” Gregory describes the moments of peaceful bliss as one awakens, noting the light streaming in from the window and the memories of last night’s dreams. He says that as his dreams fade, he finds himself reaching for a pen to capture these recollections, adding fiction into the mix. Although a very straightforward poem, I liked its vulnerability and feeling of tranquility. I related to Gregory trying to capture those hazy dreams into memories, and I enjoyed the simplicity of the poem’s message.
Another poem I enjoyed was titled “Facets.” In this short piece, he describes a simple conversation with his wife about dinner that night. He says that they sip on mochas, her hand turning through a recipe book, while he watches the light reflect off the beautiful diamond on her finger. I enjoyed this poem, once again because of its pure simplicity. Gregory has a gift for constructing a seemingly meaningless moment into a memory that is enjoyable to read.
Finally, I really liked the poem “August Drive.” Gregory describes what he envisions as a fall ride. This poem in particular is rich in beautiful fall imagery. I loved how he described the ride with a “low sun” setting as the “silhouettes of the birds, returned to the shapes of trees in evening twilight.” I also enjoyed how he described a sort of background music—a guitar’s harmony drifting into the breeze along a summer road. Overall, I thought this poem did a wonderfully accurate job of describing an August drive, and I enjoyed reading it.
Kites was a pleasant read. However, I do wish the poems were each a bit longer. I understand that the book is indeed a year of short poems, but some of them truly were too short. I found it left some poems very well done, while others seemed to lack a true ending or consensus. I think just adding at least another line or two to some of the poems in this collection would have changed that completely, leading to a more polished work.
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