Riding By: Collected Poems by Gerald Harris

four stars

ridingA poignant and affecting collection of poetry by Gerald Harris, Riding By is a volume of work that showcases the poets talents while covering a wide variety of topics. As the author explains, the poetry included here has been composed over a number of years, and its evident to tell how Harris’ viewpoint has changed throughout the different pieces. He writes about everything from the killing of Trayvon Martin, to getting lost in Paris, to standing in line for coffee. While the topics vary widely, one thing that remains constant is the strong poetic voice Harris has to offer readers. His lines are succinct and powerful, as he often uses just a few words per line to tell a full story. Whether he is upfront and blunt in the book’s opening poem Out of Order or reflective and sentimental in the poem My Brother, Harris shows readers a glimpse into his life through the poems he so carefully constructs.

This is a book of poetry that will appeal to many, as there are all different kinds of stories told through these well thought out words placed so deliberately on the page. Whether Harris is talking about Lipstick, an Old Photograph, or what transpired at a Park Bench, the poet succeeds at telling intriguing, brief stories through the lyrical form. It is obvious that Harris is passionate about poetry, and the tone of his work rings both triumphant and melancholy as you explore his work. This is a well balanced collection that really shows the depth and breadth of what Harris can do with words.

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