Let’s Fly

Greg Grant

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 66 Price: (paperback) $16.12 ISBN: 9781503506329 Reviewed: August, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

This collection of 58 short, free-verse poems looks at topics including loneliness, friendship, love, recreation, religion, and disability. The author uses everyday language, eschewing traditional poetic devices.

The universal theme of being an outsider appears in several poems, including “Mysterious Man,” one of the better pieces. Author Greg Grant writes: “I am a mystery to everyone/ No one knows what to think next./ I can do many unique things./ Many people don’t know what I will do next,/ Which is the mystery of it./ But the problem of being a mystery man is/ People misunderstand.”

Grant, who is physically disabled and suffers from mental illness, wrote all but one poem in 2003 and published the book in 2015. This time lapse contributes to a lack of cohesion and some jarring moments. For instance, the poem “William the Great” is an apparent tribute to the now-35-year-old Prince William: “When he reaches twenty-one,/ He will be bigger than Ben-Hur.”

It’s unclear if the narrator is a boy or a man. Poems are written in first, second, and third person, sometimes switching within one piece and identifying the speaker as both a man and a boy. In addition to being confusing, this makes the intended reading audience difficult to ascertain. The simple language and childlike cover illustrations indicate a children’s book, yet “The Lady in Red” discusses buying a drink for a woman at a bar, and “Party” invites readers to imbibe: “Plenty of drinks and music./ Let’s get smashed!”

Vague language detracts from content and style; words such as “big,” “small,” “fun,” “good” and “bad” fail to provide precise descriptions. For example, the poem “Grudges” says: “Grudges are not good,/ But people do have them —/ Big people and small.”

Although heartfelt and honest, this collection could be improved by more clearly defining and addressing its target audience and by revising to include more specific language that employs poetic devices in fresh ways.

Also available as an ebook.

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