Introduction

the Kite is a 24 lines lyric poem written by Harry Behn in which the poet explains the flying of a new kite in the sky. The poet compares the kite with various things to explain its beauty and motion. Its flight in the sky depends on the wind. Hence it flies high only when the wind blows. And when it gets tangled in the branches of a tree, it loses its shine and beauty.

The poem is written in the form of couplets (2 lines). However I have divided into four parts comprising of 6 lines each for better understanding.

Poem

Video

Part 1

How bright on the blue
Is a kite when it’s new!
With a dive and a dip
It snaps its tail
Then soars like a ship
With only a sail

In the first stanza, the poet says with an exclamation that a kite looks bright in the blue sky when it is new. It snaps (i.e. waves with enthusiasm) its tail with a dive and a dip. In other words, the kite flies in the air like waves travel in the sea and its tail moves rapidly along with it. The kite soars (flies) in the air like a ship floats in the sea with the help of a sail.

In this stanza, the poet talks about the flying of a kite in the sky. According to him, the kite looks bright and new while flying in the blue sky. It looks like a ship sailing in the sea.

Part 2

As over tides
Of wind it rides,
Climbs to the crest
Of a gust and pulls,
Then seems to rest
As wind falls.

In this stanza, the poet explains how exactly the kite flies in the sky. According to him, the kite rides over the tides of wind. It climbs to the crest i.e. it moves to heights when a gust (strong wind) blows and the kite runner pulls the thread. And when the wind falls i.e. becomes slow, the kite appears be taking rest. It does not climb further

Part 3

When string goes slack
You wind it back
And run until
A new breeze blows
And its wings fill
And up it goes!

When the kite runner loses the string (attached to the kite), he winds (pulls) it back and runs until a new breeze blows i.e. wind starts blowing again. And when the wind starts blowing, the kite’s wings (i.e. its whole surface) are pushed by the air and it starts going up again.

So, in this stanza, the poet explains how exactly we fly a kite. After successfully taking the kite to some height, the kite runner loses the string and pulls the kite back and waits for the wind to blow again. When the wind blows, the kite is pushed by air and it again starts going up.

Part 4

How bright on the blue
Is a kite when it’s new!
But a raggeder thing
You never will see
When it flaps on a string
In the top of a tree.

The kite appears bright and beautiful in the blue sky when it is new. However when its string tangles in the top branch of a tree, it will never appears to be bright and beautiful. Rather it will look a raggeder thing i.e. a torn clothes. It loses its beauty and brightness.

Further Reading

  1. Play quiz on The Kite Poem
  2. Questions & Answers of The Kite