The back cover of Diane Croft’s Silent Flight describes these poems as “written from the heart, all with a positive attitude for change.” This is an apt description of the light, inspirational verse offered in these pages.
“If Only” serves as a representative example of this poet’s ethos and style: “If only we could all agree./ And sit beneath a shady tree./ Discuss, debate, it’s not too late./ I’d put right, the things we hate.” As shown here, Croft relies on simple rhyme schemes and expresses familiar sentiments (here, a version of the maxim “Why can’t we all just get along?”), rather than innovating with form or offering fresh insights.
The 49 poems in Silent Flight do not follow any particular narrative arc in the speaker’s life. They are arranged alphabetically rather than thematically and address a range of subjects characteristic of inspirational verse: nature poems like “Autumn Unfolds” and “Sacks of Harvest Pride”; love and relationship poems like “I fell in Love” and “Takes Two”; spiritual poems like “My faithful guide” and “Religion”; and other poems of general encouragement like “Playground Of Life” and “Whatever you Dream.”
Occasionally, as in “Pee Dee,” the speaker turns toward a unique aspect of her own life—in this case, her struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. She notes, “I have a tremor in my hand,/ Sometimes I wobble when I stand.” By using the rhymed couplet form here, Croft limits her effectiveness. Free verse would allow her to express more complex aspects of her condition and experiences. The poem would also be more powerful if Croft used rich and particular details to show the dangers of making judgments based on appearances.
These pieces could be strengthened with fresher imagery and more particularized diction. While they lack the sophistication of more accomplished work, however, they may be enjoyed by habitual readers of the inspirational, religious, and self-help genres.
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