A Sky Full Of Wings

Poetry - General
44 Pages
Reviewed on 02/12/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Sky Full Of Wings is a collection of effective and emotive poetry. It is intended for the general reading audience and was penned and arranged by author Ksenia Rychtycka. This deeply individual and engaging collection offers an exploration of the mind, body, and soul through the eyes of this Ukrainian-American poet. With tender emotional expressions, beautiful visual metaphors, and themes that cover the whole journey of life itself, this is a chapbook that has something to offer readers at many different stages of their lives. What results is a resonant series of impactful individual moments which also build to an overall sense of history, heritage, and home.

Author Ksenia Rychtycka has crafted a superb poetic collection that has so much to offer, and there were several verses that I enjoyed reading again and again for their clever wordplay and imagery just as much as their meaning. One of the features I particularly liked about this collection was the separation of the chapbook into titled subsections that represent different themes, and the mood shifts between these themes whilst still retaining the stylistic charm of the writer. Some of my particular favorites came from the final section – Circle of Life – in which the links to family and the passage of time were especially heartfelt. “Brushing Grandmother’s Hair” and “For The Child Who Doesn’t Speak” really tugged at the heartstrings! Overall, I’d certainly recommend A Sky Full Of Wings to all poetry fans who are seeking a new author to relate to and dive into a sea of emotion with.

Dorene O'Brien

In A Sky Full of Wings, poet Ksenia Rychtycka explores transformation, focusing on the spaces where opposing ideas and images merge to expand and enrich their otherwise mundane meanings. In these poems things rain from the sky like gifts: a lime green bird lighting onto a balcony, bees whose honey saves lives, the mercy of a warplane pilot, even the sun “skipping over a kilim rug” and “more dazzling than crystal earrings.” But these offerings from above are not always benevolent and this is where the collection gains its heft and delivers its message that nothing is as it appears, that change is inevitable, that nature, human and environmental, is in constant flux and interplay. Acorns, too, drop down but they are like bullets targeting a swing set, the sun slinks above the neighbor’s oaks like a spy, the flames over Chernobyl burn the sky as unwitting residents dance below. There are warnings here, deftly and beautifully rendered, even as Rychtycka performs alchemy, delivering both brutal and uplifting mutations. Liquid becomes rock in “The Night We Knew Everything” in which “the river I wanted to swim even then, current strong as a wall of stones” and pain becomes comfort through folk songs that “have traveled through blood-stained hands.” Here the author reveals the lure of things made compelling by their history, by their complexity, and by their juxtaposition. This is a must-read collection by a writer at the height of her craft.

Natalia Iwanyckyj

Documenting journeys through generations and across continents, A Sky Full of Wings pulled me in with the stunning cover image and did not let go, even after the last poem was read. Concurrently gentle and powerful, each poem tells a story and captures the heart. Beautifully tender. Wonderfully alive. Highly recommended!

Vivian Darkbloom

What a touching collection! A Sky Full of Wings documents Ksenia Rychtycka's different phases of her life: her childhood in Chicago, youthful European pilgrimages with soul sister friends, finding the love of her life in Kyiv, witnessing her aging Mother, and raising her only daughter. Each phase is a journey in and of itself, leaving traces on Rychtycka's heart, as in the words of Lina Kostenko, whose quote opens the book. Pick up a copy today - get lost in the lyrical poems and the strong Ukrainian imagery that will resonate for readers of all backgrounds.