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Illumination: Poetry to Light Up the Darkness

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An inspiring and beautiful collection of poems to give you strength, arm you for hardship, and remind you that you're always growing, from the bestselling author of Chasers of the Light . Tyler Knott Gregson is the original InstaPoet. With loyal fans across the country and all over the Internet, he breathes new life into this ancient medium and delights fan An inspiring and beautiful collection of poems to give you strength, arm you for hardship, and remind you that you're always growing, from the bestselling author of Chasers of the Light . Tyler Knott Gregson is the original InstaPoet. With loyal fans across the country and all over the Internet, he breathes new life into this ancient medium and delights fans with his openness and honesty alongside his beautiful photography. This new book will be his first poetry collection in four years, and he returns now with a message of hope. In his elegant and simple style, Gregson will lift your spirits, keep you going when times get tough, and remind you of the inherent inner strength you already have within you.


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An inspiring and beautiful collection of poems to give you strength, arm you for hardship, and remind you that you're always growing, from the bestselling author of Chasers of the Light . Tyler Knott Gregson is the original InstaPoet. With loyal fans across the country and all over the Internet, he breathes new life into this ancient medium and delights fan An inspiring and beautiful collection of poems to give you strength, arm you for hardship, and remind you that you're always growing, from the bestselling author of Chasers of the Light . Tyler Knott Gregson is the original InstaPoet. With loyal fans across the country and all over the Internet, he breathes new life into this ancient medium and delights fans with his openness and honesty alongside his beautiful photography. This new book will be his first poetry collection in four years, and he returns now with a message of hope. In his elegant and simple style, Gregson will lift your spirits, keep you going when times get tough, and remind you of the inherent inner strength you already have within you.

30 review for Illumination: Poetry to Light Up the Darkness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I have been a fan of Tyler Knott Gregson for a very long time and always look forward to his new books. This one did not disappoint. You know poetry is good when it causes you to pause and absorb every beautiful word and syllable. I immediately want to read back through it and highlight all my favorites.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    I haven't read such talentless, uninspired poetry since high school. This book was offensive to the senses, an absolute waste of the paper it was printed on. Where do I even begin? Even if you flipped through and didn't read a word, the style choices of this piece are laughable. There are no page numbers. The poems have no titles. Rather than being black type on a white page, the poems are (or photoshopped to look as though) they are typewritten on "found" scraps of ragged paper and then photogra I haven't read such talentless, uninspired poetry since high school. This book was offensive to the senses, an absolute waste of the paper it was printed on. Where do I even begin? Even if you flipped through and didn't read a word, the style choices of this piece are laughable. There are no page numbers. The poems have no titles. Rather than being black type on a white page, the poems are (or photoshopped to look as though) they are typewritten on "found" scraps of ragged paper and then photographed and collected. Just the absolute pinnacle of hipster bullshit, it boggles the mind that this was published in the year 2021. The poetry itself is drivel. Completely bland and basic in its construction, the line breaks meaningless and the diction confused, it offers nothing of artistic value. Each poem is painfully literal, the subject and the thoughts the author wishes to communicate immediately obvious and without nuance. And those subjects are themselves unworthy of public distribution. Gregson clearly believes himself to be inspired and inspiring, but I personally found his middle class ennui repellant. The examples that most left me cringing were those about travel. He has nothing original to say on the subject, and I found his praise of "adventure" and "exploration" frankly tragic and pathetic. The desire to lose himself in experiences and his disappointment with his life's more mundane day-to-day seemed like something to share with a therapist as a barrier to a happy life. It reminded me of Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel but without any self-awareness. Maybe this review seems too harsh. Allow me to share a couple of examples to illustrate my criticisms (which took me quite a while to find again, due to this book having no page numbers). I need not book nor cathedral grand, I need no psalm or knees that kneel. Keep your robes, your staff and grail, I need not the organ or glass stained with story. Give me mountain, give me sea, give me starlight, give me tree. One hundred steps into some far off wild, and I know all I need of god. There is no subtext to this poem. The sentence structure is chaotic, pointlessly in my opinion, and the imagery is flat. He doesn't need "knees that kneel" to worship? Really? Unimaginative and meritless poem. Lumpy bed slanted left, rolling me toward the window, jammed shut over a radiator that won't shut off. Tiny television with four channels, three blurry, one always the news. Twelve dozen stairs that creak, long hallways that undulate like waves, two thousand faces my eyes have never seen. Conversation that emerges from nothing, and grows like it was watered, realization that things are shared, despite the sea that splits us. Sunrise over a landscape brand new after rising in the middle of the darkness forgetful of where you are, trying to map the room to remind yourself, sunset over cobblestones and corner cafes. This is why we go, travel is the reminder that we know so little, but are willing to learn so much. This is why we go. Ah yes, we go so that we can learn about the exotic lifestyles of the global poor. This is just the Eat, Pray, Love travel blog of a man who seems to think about himself a great deal but somehow still comes off as unreflective and thoughtless. What is actually to be gleaned from a poem like this? It says its message outright and so requires no contemplation on the part of the reader. Its imagery is sparse and unfocused, creating a sense of neither place nor emotion. Conversation "grows like it was watered" but about what? Watered with what? Grows like what kind of plant? A lazy simile. And "things are shared, despite the sea that splits us" but what things are shared? And the sea here (likely literal) creates physical distance, but what does that matter in the age of internet, television, and all the other modes of cultural imperialism that are clearly recognizable any time you travel? These poems depict travel as a poignantly unexamined experience, fully internal to the traveler, purely an escape from the averageness of daily life. What has Gregson learned on his travels? I think it is good to write. I think writing poetry about your feelings and experiences is good and healthy and wholesome. I think creative outlets are vital for people to process deeply what has happened to them in their lives. However, many more people believe their art to be worthy of public consumption than the market and simple reality can bear. This is a prime example of someone whose work should have remained personal and unpublished. And there are so many people in the reviews of this book praising it for being "beautiful" and "inspirational" and it breaks my heart. Have they ever read any other poetry? Has Gregson even read any poetry? Reading the enthusiastic commentary of other readers, I mourned for our culture. Our lack of imagination, our commercial taste in messaging and meaning, our post-literate bankruptcy of fine language. I hope that if you picked up this book it left you hungry for more poetry. And I hope you search for and find some real poetry. There is a lot of good work out there.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I have seen many a quotes from this author, and love that he friends with one of my fav musicians (Gregory Alan Isakov). He narrates his own poetry book and it's beautiful! I have seen many a quotes from this author, and love that he friends with one of my fav musicians (Gregory Alan Isakov). He narrates his own poetry book and it's beautiful!

  4. 5 out of 5

    mike f.

    i truly wish i could give this six stars. there is so much beauty in this collection and the wonders of it all hit me in a much deeper spot than anticipated. as cheesy as it sound, this collection is a part of my healing and my finding of peace, and i'm so grateful that i picked this up on a whim. i truly wish i could give this six stars. there is so much beauty in this collection and the wonders of it all hit me in a much deeper spot than anticipated. as cheesy as it sound, this collection is a part of my healing and my finding of peace, and i'm so grateful that i picked this up on a whim.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Reyna

    Real puntuation: ⭐2.8/5⭐ I did not conect with the most poetry, but the inside of the book is really beautiful, with all that arts.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Literature Lattes

    Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. This collection of poetry was insightful, introspective and moving. With themes of gratitude, overcoming obstacles and hope, this book is likely to bring readers a sense of calmness in the current climate and has the ability to become a devotional for those seeking serenity. For me, some of the poems resonated more than others. However, I enjoyed the overall tone of the collection and would recommend it to others.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scott Howard

    I really don’t have words for this. What an absolutely amazing and inspiring collection that takes you on a whole roller coaster of emotions. Just when I thought it couldn’t be possible, Tyler Knott Gregson took it to yet another level. Even if you’re not the biggest fanatic of poetry, I still encourage you to read this. Phenomenal.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ana Paula Agostini

    As usual, Tyler is an absolute genius with words. His fifth book, Illumination, is exactly what the world needs right now: a collection of poetry to move us, to remind us of the things that trigger reactions: goosebumps, tears, smiles, anger. I'm an avid reader of his work since 2009 and he never seems to disappoint. As usual, Tyler is an absolute genius with words. His fifth book, Illumination, is exactly what the world needs right now: a collection of poetry to move us, to remind us of the things that trigger reactions: goosebumps, tears, smiles, anger. I'm an avid reader of his work since 2009 and he never seems to disappoint.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jac

    A book to remind yourself to continue fighting the fight, for within the darkness shines the (fractured) light.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Brownfield

    Really enjoyed this work! Great way to start my day!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I have read all of his books, this was probably my least fav

  12. 4 out of 5

    Echo

    Love Tyler Knott Gregson's work. Love Tyler Knott Gregson's work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tiffani

    The perfect book of poetry to end this year with.

  14. 4 out of 5

    BELLA

    It was alright. It was a lot of words sometimes but other then that I did enjoy it

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marisa M.

    A book you will always go back. Beautiful writing and images.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cohl

    illumination by tyler knott gregson review — illumination (by tyler knott gregson) lives up to the title. it offers an illumination in the dark by offering compelling and comforting poetry that provides the prowess to tackle what is in front of oneself. i find it warming how this will be a beacon to someone suffering. tyler uses unconventional wording to describe concepts within his poems that i personally enjoy. the lines he chooses are partly abstract and wholly unique, such as the way he goes ar illumination by tyler knott gregson review — illumination (by tyler knott gregson) lives up to the title. it offers an illumination in the dark by offering compelling and comforting poetry that provides the prowess to tackle what is in front of oneself. i find it warming how this will be a beacon to someone suffering. tyler uses unconventional wording to describe concepts within his poems that i personally enjoy. the lines he chooses are partly abstract and wholly unique, such as the way he goes around describing concepts and inspiration. there is a hint of chaos among it all that i really enjoyed. they are fully encouraging and pleasant to read. i’d recommend this to anyone going through a tough time or perhaps even to reflect. i really adored many of the subject matters here too, such as imagining ourselves in the shoes of those who live their lives in other areas, concepts of death, and goals of dreams. in some places tyler scratches that itch of mine for unconventional, abstract, and dark poetry. in other moments i don’t feel the same and i often felt myself personally longing for more unconventionality, abstractness, and darker writing, all as more of a personal preference. that being said, there is no doubt that tyler is a talented poet and he wrote an encouraging collection here. i found myself getting quite a bit out of it and appreciated the way he related to sorrow while making a case for hope. it was his writing style that hooked me in, it’s rare and i found appreciation in it. the hope tyler writes about is meaningful and direct through poetry. he does it in a way that is not patronizing, is very honest, and illuminates the way for that hope. tyler taught me to better wander, to explore, to accept. his writing does give a valid sense of strength and desire to keep being. all in all, i liked it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stina

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chloe'

  20. 4 out of 5

    BookDrunkard

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jaye

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsay

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Loraine

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alena Swearingen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather Garrow

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amber Mason

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