Once again Peter Kenny, known worldwide as a passionate fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and the world of fantasy, has given us a treasury of poems, Memories of Another Land. Mr. Kenny has revisited the world of his first collection of poems, Dreams of Another Land, to continue to explore the bygone years and half-remembered histories of this other land, both familiar and strange to our own eyes and memories. Brave warriors, travelling wizards, voyagers making their long ways across land and sea, and lovers both together and apart are described with language that in places is delicately pastel and in other places vividly coloured. Some poems describe dark beings and darkness falling across the land, but against this gloom stands the presence–in some poems prominently, in others as a small brave figure–of hope, for better days, peaceful times, and love reunited.
Mr. Kenny’s previous illustrator, Sue Bradley, has again provided lovely watercolour illustrations to pair with the poems.
Notable poems include “The Clans Will Gather,” with its echoes of Celtic traditions, and “His Golden Ring,” with just the right touch of eeriness along with vivid imagery. The Title Poem “Memories of Another Land” is a lovely poem which reminds us that not all we “know” is true, and that it’s what people have inside them that produces evil–or by extension good. Big folk and small, young folk and old, will all find something to enjoy in Memories of Another Land.
Sherry Larson-Rhodes. First Year Experience Librarian at SUNY Geneseo, & freelance editor.