Simple Kite With Poem

Kid's Kite As A Calligraphic Display

The photo down there shows a small simple kite which my sister spotted and photographed one day. The kite was part of a foyer display at the Tea-Tree Gully library, in Adelaide, South Australia. The Calligraphy Society of South Australia was behind the display.

This simple kite, a small Diamond, has been decorated with calligraphy.

The calligrapher in this case was Beverley Carter, who gave me a little background info. The photos are displayed with Beverley's permission.

The first 2 attempts at the poem were rejected, but the 3rd seemed to work nicely when done directly onto the sail of a simple kite. The work actually dates back to 1998, when it was entered in the Royal Adelaide Show. The judges of the Calligraphy section thought the concept worked pretty well too, and awarded it the prize!

With a whole section of this website devoted to Kid's Kites, we just had to do a page on this delightful piece of kite art.

Particularly when the poem is titled CHILDREN ARE LIKE KITES! Something different isn't it.

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Small Kite Calligraphy - The Text

Here it is, and I've taken the liberty of adding full-stops. That's periods to our U.S. friends...

Children are like kites.
You run with them until you are breathless.
They crash – you add a longer tail,
they hit the roof-top – you pluck them from spouts.
You patch and comfort, adjust and teach.
You watch them lifted by the wind
and assure them some day they’ll fly.
Finally they’re airborne
but they need more string
so you keep letting it out.
With each twist of the twine there’s
sadness and joy because the kite
becomes more distant and
you know it won’t be long before
it will snap the fine line
that has bound you together,
soar as it was meant to soar… independently free.

A slightly paraphrased version of the original poem by Erma Bombeck

Every parent would relate to most of that, wouldn't they? Also, just about everyone on the planet has seen or actually flown a simple kite at some stage in their lives.

Getting Philosophical About A Toy Kite

Now, just to add a tiny philosophical point to the line becomes more distant and...

A good kite not only becomes more distant, it also climbs higher as line is let out. Eventually it will stop climbing, but let's not get too technical about it! The point is, the climbing kite could represent a kid enjoying the fruits of a good upbringing. That is, reaching ever higher points in various spheres as life goes on.

Shifting to near the end of the poem... I don't know about the won't be long until it snaps the line bit! I guess it's just poetic license, but I certainly hope no kite of mine gets free any time soon. Mind you, my little Aren is liable to toss the winder onto the grass at any time, if you let him have it for a while!

Child flying a simple Diamond kite at the beach.

That brings me to one more philosophical point. A simple kite can only perform as designed when operating within the boundary set for it - the constraint of the flying line! Cut the line, and the kite will soon end up on the ground, totally unable to fly on its own.

Kids need boundaries too, according to people who know far more about the topic than I do.

Now, that last point seems to contradict the poem! However, the poem is just being creative with regard to the child 'cutting the string' that holds them to their parents. Not being a textbook on kite flying, there's really nothing wrong with how the poem ends at all.

More Comments On This Simple Kite

The poem eloquently covers a lot of ground in just a few lines. Everything from toddler-hood to young adulthood! The simple kite in the display is also an interesting demonstration of the art of calligraphy...

A close-up of the calligraphic text on the kite.

There's more to it than just the formation of those attractive flowing characters. The sentences themselves can move around and change shape to support the concepts they are expressing.

For example, see the 3 lines in the close-up photo!

Also, did you notice that the words of the entire poem form a rough outline of the kite itself? Just look at that photo near the top of this page again, and imagine that the kite is removed, leaving just the words.

This provides a concrete connection between the written words and the subject matter of kites.

Out In The Field

My collection of real-life Diamond kite stories is worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

Finally, the variety in colors is attractive, just as a typical kid's plaything is colorful. Just one ink color would have been a bit boring here, don't you think?

Having a 2 1/2 year old boy myself, some parts of the poem certainly resonate with me! By the time Aren leaves home, I might be relating even more to this poem.

Here's a zoomed-in view of the top of the kite, showing off some more of that fine calligraphy...

Another close-up view of the calligraphy.

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What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Dowel Box Kite Rides Inland Gusts

    Sep 16, 14 05:51 AM

    A recent bout of sickness has left me with double vision for a while, which rules out driving the car anywhere. So it was time for a return visit to the small grassy reserve where many of the 1-skewer designs made their debut years ago. The easy walking distance from home was the main thing!

    Looking out the window, the breeze shifting the tree tops around seemed capable of supporting the Dowel Box kite. The Fresh Wind version with its smaller sail panels. Sure enough, down at the reserve, the kite managed to grip enough air around 50 feet to stay up fairly comfortably. A couple of times I had to interrupt some movie-taking to coax the kite higher as it threatened to sink right back to the grass.

    After 20 minutes or so of flying near the lower end of the kite's wind range, a period of fresher breezes began. In the somewhat sheltered location where I stood, the wind meter showed around 8 kph gusting to over 12 kph. However, the breeze was clearly over 20 kph higher up. The firm pull on the flying line was one indication!

    Isolated rain showers had been forecast for the area, so fairly low cumulus clouds were everywhere. No rain had fallen all day in our suburb though.

    The cloudy sky-scape made for some attractive footage of the 2-celled Box surging about in the gusts, lulls and wind-shifts. Due to the small size of the reserve, it was wise to not let the kite fly on more than about 45m (150 feet) of line. But that was enough to let it take full advantage of the moderate-strength (20kph+) airflow over the treetops.

    So, some enjoyable box kite flying today, with the 50 pound Dacron feeling like thread compared to the 200 pound variety with which I do most flying these days!

    About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. However, longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

    Read More

New! Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!


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