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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Kakos 501 More Haiku Poems by Kakos Kakos is the author's second compilation of structured poetry, preceded by Kakos 401 Haiku Poems. Written in the traditional Japanese style of three verses and seventeen syllables (in lines of five, seven, and five again), Kakos presents the poetry in a style of creative organization that carries as well as the verses themselves; displayed “into a sequential order with an alphabetical index of” the first line. He further emphasizes how his poems will be best understood with insight into the context and symbolism of each line. “Love is within you; It spreads by itself; Once your heart lights it.”
Kakos 501 More Haiku Poems is a beautiful book that was absolutely lovely to read and just as wonderful when shared with a group of friends over tea. Kakos writes with elegance and authority in a stream of poetry that encourages thought and reflection on topics ranging from life and death, to politics and war. Kakos has served in the US military and many of his experiences are mirrored in his writing and, for me, these were the verses that were the most poignant. My favorite is a poem that – like the best Haiku – is powerful not just in light of its simplicity, but because of its simplicity. “Life glows in a cave; Worship it forever; Else its light ebbs.” I'd recommend this book to all who appreciate the writing of a skilled poet, and anyone who enjoys the purity of classical poetry with relatable, contemporary themes.